Sharing energy with Norway


Sir, – Fintan O’Toole has written a very interesting article (Opinion, August 16th) on how Ireland can utilise its oil and gas resources.

As a Norwegian guest in your country, I shall not express any opinion on whether Ireland should “offer joint ownership” of its oil and gas resources to my country – that would be a question entirely for Ireland to decide.

But it is true that many people along Norway’s long coastline have got employment related to our oil and gas activity over the past 40 years, and also that our state has got a secure economic base, and has been able to establish a long-term pension fund for our future generations.

I would hope for Ireland that some of these questions could be looked at: 1. How can Ireland’s economy – as a whole – gain from the subsea oil and gas resources off the Irish coast? 2. Are there possibilities for Ireland to change the tax regime chosen, in order to get more income for the State, and thus have more funding for important national tasks such as schools, and the health system? 3. From a situation where Ireland is importing some 90 per cent of the energy needed, how can the country produce more energy itself? 4. How can the oil and gas resources give more employment to the Irish people, given current unemployment of some 14 per cent, and the emigration of maybe up to 50,000 young well-educated people, this year alone? – Yours, etc,



Bergen, Norway.