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Ireland wants fiscal advice on energy sector

Sept. 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Irish government announced it was looking for expert advice in how best to capitalize on its fledgling oil and natural gas sector.

The Irish government this year announced it was planning a seismic survey to assess the potential for offshore oil and natural gas reserves. The area is considered frontier territory.

Irish Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said the government was looking for independent expert advice on fiscal terms in the oil and natural gas sector.

"Ireland's offshore, whilst holding great promise, is relatively underexplored with only four commercial gas finds to date," he said in a statement Tuesday. "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 maximizing the return to the state and its citizens from our natural resources."

Ireland imports all of its oil and relies in foreign sources for 90 percent of its natural gas needs.

The government said it needs to be competitive against its European counterparts if it is to attract major investors for energy development. Dublin said it wants to maximize the level of exploration and production while at the same time ensuring a "fair return" to the Irish constituency.

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