Galway S2S and Rossport Solidarity Camp members challenged the head of SEPIL, Michael Crothers, to answer for the crimes Shell has commited.
The Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland, Michael Crothers, came to the NUI Galway Energy Night on the evening of Feb 28th. He was part of a PR delegation that promoted Shell’s progress in attempting to bring the Corrib Gas Project on-stream. A group of local Galway Shelltosea activists and Rossport Solidarity Camp members with ethical objections to the Gas Project staged a peaceful protest to express their concerns. Shell has been allowed to remove 125,000 tonnes of peat bog from an area directly including, and surrounded by, EU Special Areas of Conservation. The Irish government has failed in its legal duty to protect the natural habitats upon which Shell are currently working. In relation to the negative environmental consequences of the CGP, Crother’s response was to praise Shell’s environmental record as “exemplary”.
Protesters raised their banners in solidarity with all of the global communities that have been, and still are, subject to Shell’s immoral and illegal activities, be they environmental, social or economic. Shell and partners have been subjecting the community of Erris, North County Mayo, to the building of an experimental & highly dangerous gas pipeline for the past 13 year experimental.
During a Q&A session, one person asked Crother’s about Shell’s activities in Nigeria. It has been well documented that in the mid 1990’s Shell colluded with the Nigerian Military in the murder of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists? Crothers was asked to comment on a 2009 court settlement in New York; relating to the murder of the Saro-Wiwa, in which Shell agreed to pay $15.5m in compensation to the relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa. To many objective observers, this was a clear admission by the Shell corporation that it is guilty of murder and human right violations? Crothers claimed to be unaware of what has happened to Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria and wouldn’t, even though the case made international headlines at the time. The protest was successful because it prevented SEPIL from presenting an inaccurate and in many cases, totally untrue, account of Shell’s activities in Ireland and in other parts of the world.
THE value of exploration company Petrel Resources quadrupled after it said it had found as much as one billion barrels of oil off the south-west coast.
The vast reserves are in the so-called South Porcupine basin, which is a huge area off the coast of Kerry.
Petrel believes new computer analysis shows several oil fields on top of one another.
This would make it relatively easy to extract any oil because a single well could suck up oil from many fields.
The snag for Petrel is that any oil is 200km from the coast and lies beneath 1km of water and 3km of rock.
The oil industry is changing quickly as new techniques and high prices allow companies to extract oil from areas that were once believed to be too difficult to drill.
Shares in Petrel soared fourfold to 27 pence from 6 pence on London’s AIM stock exchange after the company reported a raft of promising drilling targets in the South Porcupine basin.
Petrel is one of the many companies set up by serial entrepreneur and former UCD academic John Teeling, who has also made millions from whiskey and mining companies.
Mr Teeling told the Irish Independent that the success of Providence Resources, which has also found signs of gigantic oil reserves in the Porcupine Basin, had put Ireland on the map with international investors and oil companies.
Petrel would now look for a partner to share the expense of drilling for oil and apply to the Government for a licence, he added.
London stockbroker Northland Capital described Petrel’s comments as “very bullish” but warned that drilling in these waters would be difficult and costly.
William Hederman writes:
While more and more people understand that it is private companies rather than Ireland that will get rich from oil and gas discoveries here, there is still a stunning level of ignorance around this topic. Much of this comes from politicians and journalists.
Providence is controlled by Tony O’Reilly Jnr whose family owned about half of our news media, so you might expect coverage of the Dalkey drill to be better informed.
When Providence applied for the foreshore licence last January, one newspaper quoted a Dún Laoghaire businessman saying the project “could be a good for morale and a boost for the business community”.
If Providence does find oil beside Dalkey, the only morale boost the business community will get is by admiring the rigs and tankers from the shore.
Last year Providence explained to me that they would load the oil into tankers at the rig and probably ship it directly to a refinery in Britain or Holland.
There would be no jobs or investment onshore. The workers on the rig will fly in from Scotland and elsewhere.
The fact that the oil is unlikely to be supplied to the Irish market nullifies the “security of supply” argument.
And of course, oil finds will not reduce the price of petrol here. So let’s desist with the Dallas analogies please, newsdesks.
The only guaranteed benefit to Ireland is the 25% corporation tax rate on profits. However – and this is where the industry’s lobbying of Ray Burke 25 years ago really paid off – when calculating profits from the sale of our oil, Providence can write off the costs of all exploration anywhere in Irish waters in the previous 25 years.
The likely result of such tax write-offs is illustrated by a private study conducted for Shell in 2003.
It projected that the Corrib project would pay just €340 million in tax over its lifetime, this from a field that is now valued at up to €13 billion. (At the time of the study, the field was worth considerably less, but I estimate that €340 represented around 7% of the revenue Shell would generate by selling Irish gas back to the Irish consumer).
Economically, our oil fields might as well be in the South Pacific, but environmentally, the Dalkey drill is frighteningly close to the shore – much closer than would be allowed in other European countries.
Providence’s own Oil Spill Contingency Plan shows that a spill could reach the shores of Dublin in one hour. This drilling is in shallow water, with fast currents, hundreds of marine and bird species, next to Dublin’s greatest amenity: Dublin Bay.
All being put at risk to show that Ireland is open for business, even though that business will hardly benefit us.
William Hederman is a freelance journalist. His website is IrishOilandGas
Pic via CiaranCuffe.ie
via Dalkey And Oil |.