By Kim O'Leary
Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has stated that having an outright ban on exploring Oil and Gas in Ireland would be counterproductive. Deputy O’Rourke was speaking after a presentation was given by the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association to the Oireachtas Climate Change Committee.
“An outright ban on exploring Oil and Gas would be counterproductive to Ireland’s competitiveness, to Ireland’s Energy security, to our ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment, would negatively affect our balance of payments and has the potential to increase the cost of living for our citizens," said Deputy O'Rourke.
“I fully subscribe to the principle of seeking sustainable and low carbon energy sources. Indeed, Ireland has made significant progress in relation to having a more sustainable energy mix. However, this does not mean that we stop all current methods of securing our energy source and developing our own indigenous energy supplies.”
“Around 90% of Ireland Energy requirement is supplied by Fossil Fuels, with over 70% of our requirement being imported. The balance is provided by sustainable mode of energy supply which is increasing but in no way will meet the growing demand of the country’s energy requirements (electricity, heating, transport) in the future. Currently Corrib Gas provides over half of our gas needs and has resulted in our energy import bill dropping from €4.6 billion to €3.4 billion in 2016. This indigenous gas source provides protection to Ireland against interruption to the supply of imported gas. A replacement for Corrib will be required in the coming years as production declines in order to retain our energy independence and security of supply," said Deputy O'Rourke.
“Banning exploration in Ireland would significantly increase the risk around energy security. Energy security is a key enabler to attracting FDI, where Kildare has been very successful. It also has the potential to ensure that we have a competitive cost base from the perspective of energy cost."
“Recently the cost of energy has increased and we need to ensure that our future energy mix is balanced to provide Ireland with a competitive and secure supply of energy. An outright ban on Gas and Oil exploration would negatively impact that objective," concluded Deputy O’Rourke.
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