By William C McLaughlin
Now we know. It`s official. The Atlantic Margin which runs down from Greenland, past the west coast of Scotland and Ireland, to the west coast of Africa, has been identified by Cairn Energy as an under-explored area with great potential.
Scotland, take note, exploration has now commenced in Ireland's Atlantic Margin. Two licences, about 100 miles off Ireland, at the Spanish Point gas condensate and the Burren oil discoveries, are estimated to contain more than 200 million barrels recoverable oil equivalent.
Cairn believes there is the potential to make further bigbdscoveries in the area. The Porcupine Basin, off Ireland`s west coast, has huge exploration and development potential according to Cairn.
In the Dunquin Prospect, off SW Ireland, ENI and Repsol are drilling the 1.7 billion barrel oil equivalent gas condensate. The Barryroe Block, in which Esso made finds in the 1970s, contains around 340 million barrels recoverable oil reserves. The Irish Government offer more attractive terms for exploration and development than the UK. Cairn is to spend £50 million hunting for oil and gas off the Irish coast.
Some pertinent points emerge from this Irish good news story. First, some of the Irish finds go back decades. Have similar large finds been made off the Scottish west coast in the Scottish North Atlantic sector, but put on 'hold' for now? We know that the oil majors have been 'sniffin' around for oil and gas in the Atlantic, off Scotland's west coast, for many decades, and that significant finds of oil and gas were made and put under 'wraps' until it was economic to extract this vast Scottish wealth.
Second, the Scottish North Atlantic sector is part of this rich Atlantic Margin. Third, why the big publicity splurge about Ireland`s Atlantic Margin oil and gas reserves but virtual total silence about the oil and gas reserves in the Scottish North Atlantic sector, off Scotland`s west coast (I`m not talking about west of Shetland here, I`m talking about off the west coast of Scotland)?
We don`t want to get the Jocks too excited about their massive wealth before the Indy Referendum in 2014, do we? Fourth, Ireland is independent and will benefit financially from every drop of oil that flows from its massive reserves. Compare that with Scotland, where every penny of Scottish oil and gas revenues go straight to London. The independent Irish have control over tax on their oil exploration and development. The Scots do not and are apparently too stupid and incapable of managing their own massive oil and gas wealth.
Irish eyes are smiling all the way to the bank. Scottish eyes are blinkered while they lose the benefits of all their oil and gas revenues to London and are told blatant lies about their oil and gas resources declining. Do you think the Irish would throw their lot back in with England and give London all their oil and gas revenues.
Paddy aint daft. Scottish eyes could be smiling too in 2014. The choice is yours.