Belfast Telegraph

Oil and gas industry an easy political target, says CEO

Providence Resources CEO Tony O'Reilly Jr has said that the oil and gas industry is an easy target for environmental concerns, and that political pressure to ban offshore exploration is hurting the sector
Providence Resources CEO Tony O'Reilly Jr has said that the oil and gas industry is an easy target for environmental concerns, and that political pressure to ban offshore exploration is hurting the sector

By Fearghal O'Connor

Providence Resources CEO Tony O'Reilly Jr has said that the oil and gas industry is an easy target for environmental concerns, and that political pressure to ban offshore exploration is hurting the sector.

The firm - which has set a deadline of today to receive $10m in cash promised to it by its Chinese partner APEC Energy Enterprise to fund survey work at its Barryroe oil field off the coast of Cork - would be one of the biggest losers from any renewed push to end exploration in Ireland's Atlantic waters.

If the Chinese funding - already delayed since June - does not arrive as promised, Providence will seek alternative funding, likely through debt financing or a share placing.

He said: "Our position is such that if funds aren't forthcoming within a certain period of time, then we would obviously have to look at alternative financing. That's what one does. So by saying it, you can assume that we've looked at it, but that's not our primary objective."

Providence's goal to develop the Barryroe find - and to explore a range of other targets - would have been jeopardised if the recent Climate Emergency Bill had not been killed off by the Irish Government after it was backed by a majority in the Dail.

"When you have rights and anybody talks about suddenly taking those rights away, clearly that creates uncertainty, and uncertainty is not a good thing for a business that relies on international capital," said O'Reilly.

"One can't escape the fact that climate change is an issue that needs to be dealt with. But you have got to also look at what are the causes of climate change."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular