Deadly Blessing

Ireland, 2013

After a long era of muscle power, man has found a way of tapping into the energy very deep in the earth.  This made the environment change radically in specially so last 50 years compared to all previous changes by humanity. Energy sources include coal, gas and above all oil.

Oil and gas have now become the most valuable energy resources in the world. More and more the world is developing its thirst for energy. Each developed country has their own control on their own resources. Without having control it ‘s impossible to prosper and develop in the long run. For example, Nigeria is the leading energy-producing country, which exports oil throughout the world, but that nation is also one of the poorest countries, as they do not have any control on their own resources.

Ireland relies heavily on fossil fuels and consumes 143,100 BBL oil per day. Finished oil product imports are primarily 89% sourced from the UK that collects finished oil products from EU and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.

Ireland has a high dependence on oil, presently 56% of its energy comes from it and 25% is from gas.

Ireland’s coastal waters are becoming more and more attractive to multinational companies year by year for exploration, because it possibly contains 10 billion barrels of oil with a net value of 750 billion euro.

Off the west coast of Co. Mayo, the Corrib gas field is now owned by the exploration company British Dutch Shell (BDS) and contains at least 1 trillion TFC of natural gas. They are laying a high-pressure gas pipe 9KM long through Rossport village to carry the raw and liquid material to the refinery in middle of the local forest. The organization named ‘Shell to Sea’ with the help of local villages protesting against BDS to save their local environment that is threatened by the company. But it’s not easy to get anything positive where the authorities are involved. To build the refinery and the gas terminal Shell bought 400 square km of state forestry land from Coillte, the state forestry.

The high-pressure gas pipeline planned so close to homes; schools and local places could seriously affect the community in the event of pipe failure.  On the other hand BDS already discharged liquid aluminium into the only resource of natural drinking water of several villages.   The local economy is based on a small amount of tourism, fishing and farming. Now they believe their livelihood and jobs are being directly threatened by Shell’s project in their village.

The state will end up receiving as little as 7% of the revenue from the sale of Irish gas or oil to Irish consumers, where middle east and most  African states get 60 to 90% plus. The licensing system has no guarantee of resources being sold to the Irish market; no guarantee of jobs and investment, even Irish consumers must pay full market prices for Irish resources. The licensing option awarded in November 2011 that the extraction company could hold the exclusive right to control that territory for a total 47 years. Also the Irish economy will not acquire any royalties or revenue from the sale of the State’s natural resources.

The Irish people stand to gain nothing from the exploitation of their own natural resources, while seeing only detriment to their economy and environment. All the profits and benefits from this project will end up in the hands of the multinationals.