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Black gold

I wish to take issue with your article: 'State to cash in on oil strike' (March 19) and the claim that "the State will benefit as it taxes these profits at between 25pc and 40pc".

The report did not mention that oil and gas licence holders are entitled to offset ALL exploration and development costs for 25 years against any tax liabilities.

Taxable profits will be calculated after deducting all costs, including exploration and development and, I believe, ongoing costs related to exploration elsewhere off the Irish coast -- and even the estimated cost of shutting down the wells at the end.

The article might also have included the fact that the Irish legal provisions do not impose any obligation on companies to sell their oil or gas to Irish customers.

Monica Muller

Ballina, Co Mayo