International Oil Companies: Some Considerations for the Development of Ireland's Hydrocarbon Resources
Breathnach, Proinnsias (1982) International Oil Companies: Some Considerations for the Development of Ireland's Hydrocarbon Resources. Studies - An Irish Quarterly Review, 71 (281). pp. 14-23. ISSN 0039-3495
The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the implications of the development of Irish hydrocarbon resources by international oil companies. A number of introductory observations, however, are necessary in order to set this examination in context. Hydrocarbons, of which the most economically important are oil and natural gas, are formed by the crushing of organic material under masses of sediment carried onto continental shelves or inland seas by rivers emanating from adjoining landmasses. We can infer, therefore, that hydrocarbons will be found to some degree in any part of the world where accumulations of sediment are present. Many such accumulations now form dry land, it should be noted, due to move ments in the earth's crust. The distribution of oil and gas production is a function principally of the degree of accumulation of oil/gas into pools or reservoirs, the size of these reservoirs, and the cost of extraction. Cost here includes local taxation levels, risk factors, and transport costs, as well as direct extraction costs. Offshore extraction costs are of course much greater than those on dry land, so that off shore production on a wide scale was not feasible until the major price increases of 1973.
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