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Corrib gas field may only last another decade


WARNING David Horgan, CEO of Petrel Resources.

Oisín McGovern

THE CEO of one of Ireland’s leading oil and gas exploration companies has said that Corrib gas terminal could close within the next ten years.
Speaking exclusively to The Mayo News, Petrel Resources CEO David Horgan said that government policy restricting oil and gas exploration could lead to Corrib closing within a decade.
The gas field began operation in 2015 following years of public opposition to the development.
Mr Horgan said government policy has ‘effectively killed all new exploration’ in oil and gas. “In the Corrib gas field there were several plays by various companies that were going to be drilled out over the last couple of years. They have effectively been put on ice because of governments moving against new oil and gas fields,” Mr Horgan said.
The Corrib gas field currently supplies 30 percent of the country’s gas needs and has attracted significantinvestment to the Erris region.
Mr Horgan said government opposition to oil and gas exploration was contributing to the ongoing spike in energy prices. “We are creating two sticks for our own back; one, the Russian sanctions, two, lack of investment,” Mr Hogan said.
“Corrib is a gas field, but it has quite rich liquids in it. People were fairly certain that once the infrastructure was built on the Mayo coast it would be fairly easy to drill out similar types of structures and simply lock them into the Corrib gas pipeline system. Now there is simply not enough economic certainty for companies to go and drill out those twins.
“The net result is that Corrib will decline as a gas field and it will be eventually shut in over the next ten years or so and the pipeline excavated and retired, which is a pity because you could probably find gas an oil reserves off the Irish coast to do us for 30 or 40 years.
“Until recently there wasn’t the ability to drill off Mayo; Corrib is only in 360 metres of water which is quite shallow,” he continued.
“The big geological upside is actually a bit further out at sea at Donegal, Mayo and Cork Kerry… typically in 1,000 metres of water or deeper. We simply haven’t the economics to drill that type of target really until recent years.
“The great irony is that Ireland was a hotspot for international exploration from 2015. But we basically torpedoed the whole industry when Leo Varadkar came out and said that he was against any new exploration or development.
“No companies will explore because there’s just too much uncertainty. Even if they have an existing licence to continue exploring, you still can’t go and talk to your investors.
“If the Government is against an industry, it just won’t give you the money to explore,” he concluded.