Kildare Chamber discuss oil and gas exploration at business breakfast

The importance of oil and gas exploration was the main topic of discussion at Kildare Chamber’s final business breakfast of the year.

Guest speaker Tony O’ Reilly Jnr, CEO of oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources, spoke to an audience of 160 companies at the event held in Naas.

O’Reilly noted the crucial role that the oil and gas industry plays in the Irish economy while calling for increased investment in the sector.

Citing a recent survey conducted by PwC, he noted that approximately €500 million is set to be invested into the sector over the course of the next two years.

In addition to this, O’Reilly used the opportunity to discuss the Climate Emergency Measures Bill which is currently being reviewed in Dáil Eireann.

He criticized the bill, which proposes to ban offshore exploration for oil and gas in Ireland, and argued that it would threaten the Irish economy and employment as well as the security of Ireland’s energy supply. He also added that the bill would not improve much in relation to the environment.

While addressing the business community in Kildare he also highlighted the importance of organisations such as Kildare Chamber lobbying for the interests of businesses on matters such as this.

Dara Calleary TD, deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, was also in attendance and stated that a county business organisation is vital for Kildare because of its close proximity to Dublin and the number of SME’s, multinationals, and HPSU’S that operate out of the vicinity.

Other attendees included Colm O’Callaghan, Tax Partner with PwC, who gave a brief summary of Budget 2019 and the Finance Bill that is currently being passed through legislation and Allan Shine, CEO of Kildare Chamber, who noted the importance of oil and gas exploration and called for its continued support, even in the face of climate change.

“We all recognise the need to address climate issues. However, with Ireland being powered by 92% fossil fuels now, oil and gas will play a pivotal role into the future as we transition to a low carbon economy,” Shine said.

Pictured above: Colm O’Callaghan PwC, Frank O’Rourke TD, Luke Hanahoe Vice President County Kildare Chamber, Tony O’Reilly Guest Speaker, Dara Calleary TD, Alan Shine, CEO Kildare Chamber.