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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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Unravelling of Keating’s plans (1976–99)

Unravelling of Keating’s plans (1976–99)

(p.62) 4 Unravelling of Keating’s plans (1976–99)
Gas, Oil and the Irish State

Amanda Slevin

Manchester University Press

Keating's terms were introduced at a time when interest in North West Europe's hydrocarbon potential was at its peak due to large discoveries in the North Sea. Consequently, some politicians, oil industry representatives and trade unions anticipated an economic boom in Ireland courtesy of oil and gas exploitation. This chapter discusses hydrocarbon activities onshore and offshore Ireland in the period from 1976 to 1999, connecting these with shifts in the Irish state's model of hydrocarbon management and oil companies' investment strategies. Progressing beyond empirical happenings, this chapter examines the growth in popularity of neoliberal ideology and its influence on Ireland's approach to its gas and oil. Attention to restrictions imposed on state companies like the Irish National Petroleum Corporation, and the encapsulation of a free-market perspective in the 1992 licensing terms, illustrates the impact of prevailing ideologies and global trade on the Irish model of hydrocarbon management. This chapter also considers the oscillating power of interest groups such as the oil industry lobby and the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union and contemplates their interactions with different political parties and the state bureaucracy.

Keywords:   Drilling activities, Oil industry lobby, Neoliberal ideology, Irish National Petroleum Corporation, 1992 terms, Trade unions, Political parties State bureaucracy

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