Oil refinery operator OLAPX has said it will lay off 100 people, including 20 people in its oil division, after the Government’s decision to withdraw funding from the plant.

The refinery in Co Clare has been operating at around half capacity since May when the Government cut funding from its operating budget by more than £5m.

The Irish Times understands that a decision has been taken to remove the remaining 30 people from the refinery.

The company, which operates around 40 oil and gas facilities in Ireland, said it would have to shut its operations by early 2018.

Oil production in the Republic of Ireland is expected to decline by 0.3pc to 1.1m barrels a day in 2019.