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Land area (sq kms)

Oil prod (000s b/d)

Gas prod (bcm/yr)

Oil cons (000s b/d)

Gas cons (bcm/yr)

More numbers Statistics

70,273

0.01

0.25

140

4.9

Ireland (the Republic of Ireland) lies west of Great Britain across the Irish Sea. It borders Northern Ireland (part of the UK) in the north, and the Atlantic Ocean and Celtic Sea to the west and south respectively.

Humans have lived in Ireland since 10,000 BC. Many rival Celtic tribes began to unify in the 7th century whilst Vikings established coastal settlements and Normans arrived in 1169, establishing loose English rule. In the 16th century a religious divide emerged, eventually leading to the Act of Union in 1801 between the Irish Parliament and Britain. Agriculture dominated the economy and emigration and famine led to a steep drop in population. Home Rule campaigns began in 1870 which were opposed by Protestant Unionists. It was agreed in 1914, then suspended during World War 1. Volunteers fought for Britain but a small rebel Catholic group began a bloody insurrection known as the 1916 Easter Rising.

Ireland declared independence in 1919, recognised in the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1922. It became the Irish Free State and a short-lived civil war ensued. The Free State, supported by the UK, were victorious. Ireland officially became a republic in 1949 after remaining neutral during World War 2. In the 1980s Ireland saw rapid economic growth, cut short by the financial crisis in 2008, but it has since recovered.

Ireland covers most of the island of Ireland with the 6 counties of Northern Ireland (part of the UK) constituting the remainder in the northeast.

The west side of the country is rugged cliffs and mountains with numerous islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays. The highest point is Carrauntoohil at 1,038m in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the southwest. The central lowlands are covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand and areas of peat bog. Agriculture accounts for about 64% of the total land area.

The country began producing gas from the Kinsale Head field in the Celtic Sea south of Cork in 1978. This field, along with smaller discoveries, is now almost depleted. However output is recovering as gas is now produced from the repeatedly delayed Corrib field in the Slyne Trough off NW Ireland which came onstream in 2015.

The country has no oil production apart from modest volumes of NGLs and it has no oil or gas prospects onshore. Small, as yet undeveloped, offshore oil accumulations have been found in the Celtic Sea. Appraisal of the Barryroe discovery has identified significant oil potential in this field which may be commercially producible in coming years. With NGLs from Corrib, and other exploration programs active elsewhere in deep waters of the Atlantic, Globalshift forecasts some oil output from Ireland in the medium term.

Rapid growth in the Irish economy led to increasing oil consumption and imports of gas from the UK up to 2008 but consumption growth has now levelled off.

Geography, and oil and gas summary

IRELAND - Map and National Flag

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Geology

E and P

News Briefs

Ireland

Capital: Dublin

Population: 4.5 million     

Ireland has a parliamentary system of government. The Oireachtas is the bicameral national parliament composed of the President and the 60-member Seanad Éireann (Senate) and elected 158-member Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives). The largely ceremonial President is head of state elected for a 7-year term. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is head of government nominated by the Dáil and appointed by the president.

Ireland has been a member state of the European Union since 1973 and has been in the Eurozone since 1999.

The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is responsible for the oil and gas industry in Ireland.

IRELAND, BRAY NEAR DUBLIN

Beachfront

Brief history of the country

Northwest Europe

Ireland Government and NOCs