Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Pat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
I am aware of the report of the SIPTU Oil and Gas Review Group and I welcome its contribution to the wider debate on how best to maximise the benefits to Ireland from the exploration and production of our indigenous oil and gas resources.
There have only been four commercial gas discoveries and no commercial oil discoveries since exploration began offshore Ireland in the early 1970s. As a result the petroleum potential of the Irish offshore is largely unproven and this is likely to remain the case until there is a significant increase in the level of exploration activity and in particular in the number of exploration wells drilled. At this point in time, I believe that the focus should be on attracting a larger share of mobile international exploration investment to Ireland in order to increase the chances of new commercial discoveries being made.