The news that commercial quantities of oil have been found 50 km off the Cork coast is very welcome news for Ireland. Of course, there won’t be any impact on the price of oil as this is an international traded commodity. However, Ireland will benefit in other ways, first the Exchequer will benefit with taxes of between 25% and 40% on oil revenues, the balance of payments will improve, there will be increased security of supplies and there will be spin off for local industry ranging from fabrication to geological services.
The successful drilling at the Barryroe will increase pressure on the Irish government to grant permission for oil exploration at five further sites in Irish waters. These include the most controversial site, at Dalkey Island in Dublin Bay. However, it is questionable whether it is right to allow the very privileged residents of Dalkey to deny the economic benefits of oil exploration and extraction to the rest of the Irish population.
It should be noted that the only region of the UK that did not suffer a recession was Aberdeen, the oil capital of Britain. The find at Barryroe is comparable to that of a medium sized North Sea oil field and thus similar benefits should be felt in Cork. Here’s wishing for many more such oil fields to be discovered.