Business Irish

Monday 11 December 2017

Locals excited about prospect of building an Aberdeen-like boomtown after oil find

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

IT was a village that became a town thanks to gas revenues from the Kinsale Head field.

Now, Carrigaline is hoping to become an Aberdeen-like boomtown thanks to the spin-off spending from the biggest oil discovery in Irish history.

The town -- the services hub for Cork's deepwater port at nearby Ringaskiddy -- revelled yesterday in the Providence Resources confirmation that its Barryroe Field could contain as many as 1.6 billion barrels of oil.

The discovery some 50km off the Cork coast now ranks alongside a medium North Sea oil field -- and could be ready for commercial development by 2014, with Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy bracing themselves for a Norwegian and Scottish-style oil boom.


Providence technical director John O'Sullivan said oil had made Aberdeen effectively "recession-proof" and confirmed that any spin-off spending from the Barryroe Field will obviously have enormous benefits for Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline as well as the greater Cork and Irish economies.

"We are very excited by the development -- and we believe people in Cork have every reason to be excited too," he said.

Mr O'Sullivan, a native of Ballinlough in Cork, said that oil couldn't have been found in a better strategic location, given the existing infrastructure developed around the adjacent Kinsale and Seven Heads gas fields.

Providence's entire Barryroe exploration rig was resourced from Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline -- including supplies, support ships and accommodation.

Transfers of oil rig staff operated by helicopter from Cork Airport.

One square mile of Cork territory -- from Ringaskiddy to Whitegate -- now handles almost 25pc of Ireland's entire energy resources.

Commercial exploitation of the Barryroe oil field will have enormous benefits for Carrigaline in particular.

Collins SuperValu owner, David Collins, confirmed that his supermarket already supplies provisions for Ronayne Shipping -- the firm that undertakes much of the contract work for Providence. "It is fantastic news -- probably the best news that the town could have dreamed about," he said.

Piton Developments official Padraig Barrett said that the oil discovery will crucially support retail and services jobs in both Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy.

Piton is currently developing a retail project that will result in Carrigaline getting a new town centre.

The Kinsale Head gas field also played a strategic role in bringing major pharmaceutical firms to the Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline areas.

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