An Irish Government report “Atlantic Ireland an Exciting Petroleum Province”, released in 2006, and highlighted in the Irish Times and Irish Independent, Identified the Porcupine Ridge, and Celtic Sea and Irish Sea areas as having enough Oil and Gas, to provide long term energy security for Ireland. These Oil and Gas Fields have been located in areas which are between 30 metres and 1500 metres water depth. (By comparison, the Shell owned Perdido drilling rig in the gulf of Mexico drills in 2,438 meters of water, thats double the depth of the deepest part of Ireland’s porcupine ridge.) Some of the finds have been made in waters as shallow as 50 Metres (The Kish Basin) near Dublin Bay.
- These resources are a fact, not an imaginary, distant prospect. Corrib (Gas) Offshore Galway, Barryroe (Oil) offshore Cork, Lough Allen Basin (Gas) onshore Leitrim, These fields are located in areas much less dangerous than other energy producing areas Such as the Gulf of Mexico where many violent weather storms (hurricanes) are experienced every year, and The North Sea where hundreds of lives have already been lost, through accidents and bad weather.
- Proposals to build wind farms in exactly the same areas, begs the question, If it is unsafe for oil or Gas rigs, how can it be safe for the construction of massive wind farms.
- The biggest problems facing the extraction industry, is lack of infrastructure and processing facilities in Ireland ( Noel Dempsey; Statement to Dail Eireann, 3rd May 2006 ), and environmental activists who oppose any resource development.
Yes These resources must be harvested safely, even if this means leaving some of these resources where they are. But we cannot oppose everything just for the sake of it. We need the income from these resources, to build the infrastructure of hospitals, schools, Utilities, and transport, which this Nation so badly needs.