Tenders sought for expert advice on oil and gas exploration tax terms

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte T.D., today announced that his Department has sought tenders for the provision of expert advice on the “fitness-for-purpose” of the current oil and gas fiscal terms.

On the 9th of July last, in the context of the conclusion of the Dáil debate on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Minister Rabbitte confirmed that he intended seeking independent expert advice on the “fitness-for-purpose” of Ireland’s fiscal terms for oil and gas exploration, development and production.

Minister Rabbitte stated “Ireland’s offshore whilst holding great promise is relatively underexplored with only four commercial gas finds to date. In setting our fiscal terms we need to strike the necessary balance between attracting the high-risk exploration investment needed to prove that promise whilst maximising the return to the State and its citizens from our natural resources.

My Department has now commenced the public procurement process to engage the required expert advice. Such expert advice will focus on what level of fiscal gain is achievable for the State and its citizens and also on the appropriate mechanisms best suited to produce such gain”.

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd T.D said that the Government needed to be competitive on the open market to attract investment in exploration.

“The Government’s strategy for the exploitation of the State’s natural oil and gas resources aims to maximise the level of exploration activity and increase the level of production activity, while ensuring a fair return to the people from these activities,” said Minister O’Dowd.

“Ireland competes for mobile exploration investment in the same way it competes for other forms of foreign direct investment

“Given increasing international interest in the Irish offshore it is timely that the ‘fitness-for-purpose’ of the existing fiscal terms be reviewed. This will ensure regulatory certainty in advance of the next oil and gas exploration licensing round.”