FIANNA Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, says the Government needs to act quickly to maximise revenue from the Barryroe oil fields off the Cork coast.
Deputy Moynihan commented: “I welcome the news that oil exploration company, Providence, has estimated that the Barryroe oil fields contain over a billion barrels of oil. This represents a huge opportunity for Cork and Ireland, not only from the oil but from the associated spin-offs.
“While the oil exploration company figures out how to extract the oil, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte , needs to act swiftly and decisively to maximise revenue and tax from the oil fields in a fair and equitable manner.
“In May the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Oil and Gas exploration produced a number of recommendations for a fair taxing regime. They advocate a strategic policy document to be produced so the Government can set out its aims and strategy for gas and oil exploration. This should involve a public consultation process to gauge the opinion of local people, the ecosystem off the Barryroe coast needs to be protected and all stakeholders need to be involved in the process.
“The oil fields may be subject to corporation tax and profit resource rent tax (PRRT), the Government needs to ascertain this at the earliest possible opportunity. This will enable the Government to maximise tax revenues without deterring investment by the oil exploration companies.
“The Joint Committee has stated that the overall tax take should, in the case of future licenses, be increased to a minimum of 40%, which would be of huge benefit to the Irish people.
“This represents an exciting time for Ireland in terms of our natural resources, the oil exploration has the potential to greatly boost the local and national economy. However, to ensure maximum benefit the Government needs to quickly implement the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee.”