Sunday 20 October 2019

Corrib Gas firm pays €414m dividend to Canadian owner

Fuel: A rig on the Corrib gas field
Fuel: A rig on the Corrib gas field

Gordon Deegan

The Canadian-owned entity that acquired Shell Ireland's 45pc interest in Corrib Gas has already received €414m in dividends from the operation of the gas field.

That is according to the first set of accounts filed by Nephin Energy Holdings Ltd (NEHL).

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The Irish-based firm is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which came to an agreement in 2017 to purchase Shell Ireland's interest in Corrib Gas for €903m.

The new accounts show that NEHL last year paid a dividend of €382m to the CPPIB.

That was followed by a further €32.4m dividend payout in April and May of this year.

NEHL completed the purchase of Shell Ireland's interest on December 12 last year and sold on 1.5pc of its interest in the field to the new operator, Canadian firm Vermilion, for €25.6m.

NEHL recorded revenues of €25.2m last year, representing just under three weeks of production to the end of last December.

The firm recorded pre-tax profits of €46.26m after booking a gain of €39m on its purchase of Shell's interest. This was due to an upswing in gas prices in the fourth quarter of last year relative to when the purchase price was originally agreed with Shell back in 2017.

The accounts show that the Nephin Group incurred transaction expenses of €9.3m concerning the Shell deal.

A spokesman for Nephin Energy stated yesterday: "Nephin is very pleased with how Corrib has performed since operatorship transferred from Shell to Vermilion as part of the transaction.  

"The gas produced from Corrib continues to make a very significant contribution towards meeting Ireland's energy needs, supplying up to 60pc of Ireland's gas requirements during the accounting period in question."

On the issue of further exploration for gas off the Co Mayo coast, the spokesman stated: "In the future, we will be looking at what options may be available to us to extend the life of the assets in North Mayo."

Irish Independent

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