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Shell racks up nearly €100m loss as it waits on go-ahead for first Corrib gas

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Corrib Gas Project mired in corruption allegations and a related cover-up led by Michael Crothers

Paul O’Donoghue: 18 November 2015

The company behind the controversial Corrib gas project racked up losses of over €98m last year as it awaits a final government permit to begin flowing gas at the site.

Accounts just filed for Shell E&P, the Shell subsidiary managing the project in Ireland, show administrative costs amounted to €18.8m last year, down from €20.3m in 2013.

It made an operating loss of just over €26m compared to €28.5m the year before. Most of the loss was an actuarial loss that related to the firm’s pension scheme.

The pension scheme made an actuarial loss of €84m during the year compared to about €12m the year before. With that included, the company recognised a total loss of €98.6m during the year.

Commitments for future capital expenditure contracted at the end of 2014 amounted to €32.4m, up slightly from €29.5m the year before.

The firm has also revised downwards how much it estimates decommissioning works on the project will cost. It now expects decommissioning costs will amount to €70m, down from an estimate of just under €80m the year before.

On-site work has been completed at the project and Shell expects that gas will flow by the end of the year. The company recently received a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to begin piping gas, and is now awaiting the go-ahead from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

A spokesman for Shell E&P Ireland said: “Shell is looking forward to Corrib flowing and the benefits it will bring Mayo and Ireland.

“At peak production Corrib could supply up to 60pc of Ireland’s gas needs.”

It is understood that Corrib could reach peak production within its first five years of operation. The Corrib gas field was discovered in 1996 and is located 83km off the North West Mayo Coast.

The field contains an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Irish Independent

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