Repub­lic’s oil and gas sec­tor in line for a €500m boost

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY GAVIN MCLOUGH­LIN

AROUND €500m (£437m) is set to be in­vested in Ire­land’s oil and gas sec­tor over the next two years, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey by PWC.

The fig­ure, based on re­sponses from oil and gas com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the Repub­lic, com­prises in­vest­ments in ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­i­ties like drilling or shoot­ing seis­mic imag­ing, ac­cord­ing to Ro­nan Mac­nio­clais, a part­ner in Pwc’s oil and gas prac­tice.

It comes as oil­field ser­vices gi­ant Sch­lum­berger pre­pares to end its long pres­ence in North­ern Ire­land.

“The sta­bil­i­sa­tion and im­prove­ment in oil and gas prices in re­cent times has had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the Ir­ish oil and gas in­dus­try,” said Mr Mac­nio­clais.

“Over half (of re­spon­dents) re­ported a high level of op­ti­mism in re­la­tion to the level of petroleum they be­lieve has yet to be dis­cov­ered in Ire­land in spite of the lack of his­toric com­mer­cial dis­cov­er­ies here.

“Nearly two-thirds are pos­i­tive about the fu­ture out­look for the Ir­ish oil and gas sec­tor. This is man­i­fested by the fact that a num­ber of drilling pro­grammes are planned in Ir­ish wa­ters over the course of the next few years.”

The sur­vey also ad­dressed the fu­ture of the sec­tor in light of Ire­land’s ef­forts to re­duce car­bon emis­sions.

An op­po­si­tion Bill de­signed to ban new ex­plo­ration li­cences is cur­rently be­fore the Dail.

How­ever, last week Sean Can­ney, the Repub­lic’s Min­is­ter of State for Ru­ral Af­fairs and Nat­u­ral Re­sources, in­di­cated the govern­ment will block the Bill, say­ing it “will do noth­ing to re­duce our use of oil or gas”.

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