Thursday 29 September 2016

Norway's Statoil injects €150m into Irish unit behind Corrib gas field

Published 21/01/2016 | 02:30

The Corrib gas field begain operations last month
The Corrib gas field begain operations last month

Norway's Statoil has injected €150m into its Irish unit that's a partner in the Corrib gas field, which started flowing last month.

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New filings at the Companies Registration Office show that the Norwegian parent stumped up the money last month for Statoil Exploration (Ireland).

Statoil owns a 36.5pc stake in the Corrib field off the west of Ireland.

Shell owns 45pc and Canadian firm Vermilion owns 18.5pc.

The debut gas flow from Corrib was 11 years later than originally anticipated, after the field was discovered in 1996.

Its development was dogged by planning delays and protests. Over €3.5bn has been spent on the project.

The field is expected to produce the equivalent of 45,000 barrels of oil per day and has a projected lifespan of between 15 and 20 years. It contains about one trillion cubic feet of gas.

"There have been several challenges for the operator and its partners to overcome on the road to this important milestone," said Tove Stuhr Sjoblom, senior vice president for Statoil's development and production activities in the UK and Ireland last month.

Although it will initially produce enough gas to provide 60pc of Ireland's requirements at peak supply, that peak output reduces quite quickly after the field has started production.

Vermilion bought its Corrib stake from energy firm Marathon in June 2009, agreeing to pay up to $400m for the holding.

It used vehicles in Luxembourg to help cut its tax liability in relation to the field.

Vermilion told Luxembourg authorities in 2009 that it expected to invest as much as $400m in developing Corrib. It used a French subsidiary to acquire its stake.

It then planned to use entities in Luxembourg, Hungary, the Cayman Islands and Barbados to effect a transfer of loans from a new Luxembourg vehicle to other group firms.

The Corrib gas field is located 83km off Ireland's northwest coast in water depths of almost 350 metres.

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