Providence: Barryroe Well
Nick Webb – 26 May 2013
Providence Resources’ oil find at Barryroe, off the coast of Cork, could generate taxes of €4.5bn over the life of the well, according to a new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
This is the equivalent to the entire annual corporate tax take in Ireland for 2011, according to PwC.
The State, it says, would earn money from the corporate tax and from the windfall taxes generated by the huge find off the south coast.
The PwC report suggests that 10 finds equivalent to Barryroe would have the potential to generate 13,500 jobs during the development phase and 11,500 jobs during the production phase of these fields. An entire new specialist oil services industry would need to be developed near the south coast to cater for the oil fields.
The Barryroe find is a game-changer for the Irish oil industry, as it is the first commercial oil field discovered off Ireland.
Recent months have seen massive activity off Ireland’s coast with the arrival of Kosmos, Cairn Energy and other new parties seeking to explore for oil. Fastnet Oil & Gas last week announced surveys had revealed that its Kinsale acreage could potentially contain up to two billion barrels of oil.
The next two months will prove critical for the future of Tony O’Reilly’s Providence Resources. Results of drilling at its Dunquin well may come through in July, while the €400m-listed firm may also ink a deal to farm out a major chunk of its valuable Barryroe oil field off Cork.
Industry sources believe that Providence may be taken over by an oil major such as Petronas or Exxon if the Dunquin results are positive.
However, at the same time as all this exploration is under way, the Government is examining whether to hike taxes levied on oil finds.