One of the most lucrative resource industries in the entire world is fossil fuels. The ability to mine and sell petroleum can make the difference between being a wealthy nation or not. Luckily for Ireland, there are a number of drilling areas and there are estimates that there could be billions of barrels of oil beneath the country.
Fracking is a controversial procedure and the possibility of the practice being outlawed is something that the country will eventually have to contend with. However, a large amount of the oil within Irish territory is actually off shore under the ocean.
There is currently a large scale operation underway to mine this oil and reap the benefits. Since 1970 there has been extensive drilling off the Irish coast. Newer technology and better exploration systems mean that there is potential for Ireland to strike black gold.
However, there are several issues that are preventing this. The oil industry is not the behemoth it once was. Funding has been reduced and efforts to mine are slow due to this. Worse still for the industry is growing awareness of climate change. Thanks to documentary films such as An Inconvenient Truth and the increase in extreme weather a majority of the world’s population have taken notice of the effects that carbon emissions have. Fossil fuels are one of the leading causes for such emissions.
As a consequence of this a large number of western countries are starting to phase out the use of petrol in order to pave the way for more clean and safe energy use. Part of the Paris climate agreement states that ocean oil will not be mined. This is bad news for the oil industry in Ireland. It means that there is only a finite amount of time to mine as much of this natural resource as possible.