Speaking today on the need to discuss alternative arrangements for the Irish border in a post Brexit landscape Mandy Johnston, CEO of the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association said “The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will increase Ireland’s vulnerability in terms of energy import dependency”.
Ireland will then have no physical energy connection with the EU’s energy network as our only gas interconnectors are to Scotland. An obvious route to energy security and independence is through
the exploration and development of indigenous offshore natural resources – oil and especially gas.
This would also reduce our carbon emissions and provide substantial economic benefits to Ireland.
The challenge is how to continue to foster the momentum of offshore exploration. Encouragement
and support for hydrocarbon exploration and development, through appropriate fiscal and
regulatory framework, can lead to energy security, help build a low-carbon society through the
increased use of indigenous gas, and exploit opportunities for attracting new foreign direct
Ms Johnston added “Clarity is required around the issue of access to the EU energy market; in terms
of importing hydrocarbons. Greater certainty is needed around maintenance of free travel
arrangements between UK and Ireland to facilitate the transfer of oil and gas exploration and
production expertise from the North Sea, with no added administrative restrictions that would
increase costs of exploration and production in Ireland.
Ireland will need to cultivate experienced, like-minded allies at EU Parliament, Council and Working
Group levels to ensure that any future marine- and petroleum-related Directives and legislation are
appropriate to the specific conditions of the Irish offshore, and to ensure that they support the
timely and environmentally-responsible development of our much-needed natural resources.
The strong links with UK oil and gas agencies, developed over the past decades, need to be
maintained in order to be able to draw on their legislative, operational and technical expertise to
support our developing oil and gas industry.
IOOA have made a submission to Government on this issue and will be pleased to partner with
government in identifying and addressing the challenges resulting from the UK withdrawal from the
EU, and work towards achieving energy security and independence for Ireland”.
Note to Editors. Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) is the representative organisation for
the Irish offshore oil and gas industry. Its members are companies licensed by the Government to
explore for and produce oil and gas in Irish waters. The IOOA provides a forum in which its member
companies work together to identify and tackle issues facing Ireland’s offshore industry. By
cooperating and providing a common approach to issues such as safety, the environment, legislation
and employment, the IOOA pro-actively assists in the development of oil and gas exploration and
production in Ireland’s waters.