[Sinn Fein]

11th July 2003

Who will benefit from Dooish oil find? - Ferris

The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris TD has questioned the benefit of the potentially massive oil find at the Dooish Well off the North West coast. Deputy Ferris was speaking following the announcement that the find could be worth as much as €10.4 billion.

Deputy Ferris said:

``At the present time, such a find would be of almost no benefit to the people of Ireland. I say this because of the scandalous conditions that apply to multi-national exploration companies such as Shell who operate here. Almost uniquely in the world, this Government has no stake in any oil or gas find, and the companies pay no royalties. When one looks at the benefits which have accrued to states like Norway which have maintained some control, the differences are stark.

``A number of years ago former Energy Minister Frank Fahy said that if oil were to be found in the Rockall Basin then the state would consider changing those terms. In the light of this find, I would call on him and other members of this Government to do just that. Otherwise, the vast wealth from our seas will be taken up, shipped abroad, and we will be left with nothing . ENDS

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