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Gas, Oil and the Irish StateUnderstanding the Dynamics and Conflicts of Hydrocarbon Management$
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Amanda Slevin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992743

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992743.001.0001

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What gas and oil? The early days of the Irish regime (1957–75)

What gas and oil? The early days of the Irish regime (1957–75)

(p.47) 3 What gas and oil? The early days of the Irish regime (1957–75)
Gas, Oil and the Irish State

Amanda Slevin

Manchester University Press

While Ireland in the mid 1950s was viewed by some indigenous geologists as a country with limited hydrocarbons, the visit of an Irish-American lawyer sparked hopes for potential oil and gas exploitation. This chapter documents the design of legal and policy frameworks to facilitate hydrocarbon exploration and production, highlighting how the Irish state implemented a licensing system (1959 Oil Agreement) which entailed the transfer of rights for all Ireland's onshore and offshore territory to one oil company, enabling the privatisation of produced resources in exchange for some fiscal returns. Providing an historical account of the early days of the Irish petroleum industry, this chapter makes a new contribution to knowledge on Irish state hydrocarbon management, contextualised with reference to occurrences in Irish political economy. Conditions internationally also impacted on Ireland and global trends in resource nationalisation in tandem with the discovery of Kinsale gas culminated in the 1975 licensing terms (Justin Keating's terms) which signified a fresh perspective on hydrocarbon management. Due to national and international forces, this ‘golden era’ would not last, as discussed in the next chapter.

Keywords:   Legal and policy frameworks, Irish licensing system, Privatisation of resources, 1959 Oil Agreement, Kinsale gas, 1975 terms, Irish political economy Influence of global trends

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