Emerald Isle votes yes for continued offshore exploration

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Ireland’s Offshore Operator’s Association has welcomed a government decision not to pass the Climate Emergency Bill that would have effectively banned oil and gas exploration offshore of the country.

In a statement the IOOA said the Government of Ireland’s decision was an important step to ensure energy security, protect the environment and create jobs. The representative body said the decision not to pass the bill paved the way for finds similar to the Kinsale and Corrib gas fields, which currently supply 60% of gas to Irish homes and businesses.

Mandy Johnston, CEO of the IOOA, commented: “Government has recognised that using our own natural resources is not only good for energy security but also good for the environment and jobs.

“The facts speak for themselves: Russian Gas imported to Ireland creates 34-38% more greenhouse gas emissions than using Irish gas, while Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) imported from Qatar creates 22-30% more.

“There is no realistic scenario under which gas and oil will not be required to contribute a major part of Ireland’s energy supply in the short to medium term.

“Brexit, and political instability in the Middle East and Russia, together with the lack of established gas interconnection with mainland Europe, leave us extremely vulnerable to massive major gas and energy disruptions.

“Other countries have recognised this challenge. Only a handful have banned offshore exploration. The only European country that has done so is France, and it has a stable nuclear infrastructure powering over 50% of its needs. Conversely, Norway is generally cited as one of the more progressive low carbon economies in the world and is today the largest producer of oil and gas in North West Europe.

“The Irish Offshore Operators’ Association is fully committed to continuing to work with communities, policymakers and others to identify and implement policies which are based on science, evidence and facts. We must work together to create progressive policies which can make a meaningful and positive impact, without undermining the prosperity of Ireland for our future generations.”

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