Developers of Corrib field off Ireland drop gas marketing request

Owners of Corrib gas field off western Ireland have withdrawn an application to jointly market their production, due to the European Commission's concerns about competition. The companies said joint sales for 5 years would counterbalance the power of the Irish government's gas and electricity companies.

Apr 20th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON, Apr. 20 -- Owners of Corrib gas field off western Ireland have withdrawn an application to jointly market their production, due to the European Commission's concerns about competition.

Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd. is operator of Corrib with 45%. Statoil Exploration (Ireland) Ltd. had 36.5%, and Marathon International Petroleum Hibernia Ltd. 18.5%.

The EC said it "welcomes the decision of the Corrib owners to market the gas individually, which will give gas consumers in Ireland a wider choice between gas suppliers."

Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd. opened the 25 billion cu m field in 1996 on Block 18/20. The 500 million Irish pound development will use seven subsea wells in more than 1,100 ft of water, tied back to a central gathering manifold. A pipeline will move the gas to an onshore facility (OGJ Online, Feb. 26, 2001).

Development work will begin this year and be completed by 2003. Corrib is the first significant find off Ireland since Kinsale Head gas field in 1973.

The three companies had asked the EC to allow them to jointly market Corrib gas for the first 5 years to counterbalance the purchasing power of Bord Gais Eirean, the state-owned gas company, and Electricity Supply Board, the state-owned electricity company that uses large quantities of gas for generation.

The EC said the European competition law would give an increasing number of gas consumers the freedom to choose between suppliers.

"In Ireland these already include power generators and energy-intensive industrial consumers. The commission considers that the Irish customer-base power market is particularly likely to continue its rapid growth offering potential sales outlets for gas suppliers."

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