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Old February 9th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #61
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That is an incredible waste of resources but I do think the Minister is correct, some of the protesters were the same people that turn up at every demonstration. Many of the locals were nothing but NIMBYS.

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Old February 9th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #62
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Some people in this country are just digging a bigger hole.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 02:03 AM   #63
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Quote:
Rabbitte favours tougher tax regime for onshore exploration companies

RONAN McGREEVY

Fri, Feb 10, 2012

COMPANIES WHICH find oil or gas onshore may be subject to a different tax regime from those which explore offshore, Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte has said.

Mr Rabbitte defended the current taxation regime which critics say is too lenient towards oil and gas companies, but said he might take a different view to those who operate onshore because the costs of exploration are lower.

He said that when the current regime was included in the Finance Act of 2008 by his predecessor Eamon Ryan, the prospect of onshore drilling was not contemplated.

In response to a query from The Irish Times, the Minister added: “It seems to me that the risks, and thus the costs as between onshore and offshore exploration and drilling, are so vast that there may be a case for the tax regime to reflect that difference.” Any change in the taxation regime would pertain to those companies looking to use hydraulic fracturing [fracking] in the Lough Allen carboniferous basin and in Co Clare.

The Lough Allen Natural Gas Company (Langco) and Australian-based Tamboran Resources have been given onshore petroleum licences to explore the area which takes in parts of Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Cavan and Fermanagh.

Oil exploration company Enegi Oil has an onshore petroleum licensing option for the Clare Basin, an area which covers all of Clare and part of Kerry and Limerick. Its current licensing options allow only for shallow exploratory surveying.

To date only Tamboran has indicated that it intends to move to apply for an exploration licence. The company believes there is $55 billion (€42 billion) worth of gas at present prices in an area of north Leitrim and a similar amount across the Border in south Fermanagh.

Last week, Tamboran said it planned to spend a total of $70 million over this year and next carrying out further work in both counties. If the field was brought to full production, it had the potential to create 600 jobs directly and a further 2,400 indirectly, the company said.

At present oil and gas exploration companies are subject to a 25 per cent corporation tax rate on all profits rising to 40 per cent for the more profitable finds. That regime only pertains to companies who have exploration licences.

Mr Rabbitte said that since no licence had been granted yet for onshore drilling “there is adequate time to examine this issue”.

Mr Rabbitte has defended the present taxation terms, which critics say are the most lenient in the world, on the basis that offshore exploration in Ireland is very expensive and there has been little success to date.

He said he was minded to change the licensing terms for onshore exploration because the costs are lower.

Mr Rabbitte also reacted sceptically to Tamboran’s claims about the amount of gas that might be in north Leitrim.

He said he had seen the press release but no scientific evidence to date which backed up the company’s claim.

“If there is a scientific basis for what is there of course I’ll examine it,” he said.

Mr Rabbitte said the Government was seeking to alleviate people’s concerns about the effects of fracking by carrying out a “very rigorous” environmental impact assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency.

© 2012 The Irish Times
...
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #64
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They should try get as much money out of it as they possibly can.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 08:04 PM   #65
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Quote:
Providence update on Barryroe drilling
Updated: 13:01, Thursday, 9 February 2012


Providence says appraisal well encountered hydrocarbons

Exploration company Providence Resources has given an update after drilling at an appraisal well at its Barryroe prospect off the Cork coast.

The company said hydrocarbons - which indicate the presence of oil or gas - were encountered during the drilling, which was delayed by weather conditions and rig issues.

Providence CEO Tony O'Reilly said operations to evaluate the underlying Barryroe reservoir had now started.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0209/pro...-business.html
Quote:
Providence boosted by well update
By Thomas Molloy
Friday February 10 2012


PROVIDENCE Resources shares rose after the explorer issued a bullish update on its Barryroe appraisal well off Cork.

The Dublin-based exploration company said it had successfully accessed both an upper gas field and a reservoir target lower down in the sea bed.

Providence is aiming to prove commercial flow rates from Barryroe and create Ireland's first commercial oil field. It has only drilled so-called appraisal wells so far but will soon prepare to drill exploration wells which yield more information.

Providence is the operator of the block with 80pc, while Lansdowne Oil & Gas owns the rest. Shares in both companies rose after the news. Providence gained 8.7pc in early trading but eventually closed up 6.4pc at €3.30 in Dublin. Shares in Lansdowne rose as much as 10pc before closing up 5.1pc at 31.4p in London.

Discovered in the 1970s, Barryroe has previously produced oil but not enough to make drilling economical.

"We have met, and probably exceeded, expectations in the Barryroe well," said chief executive Tony O'Reilly. Providence will soon begin drilling in the Dalkey Island prospect off Dublin and Rathlin Island.

- Thomas Molloy

Independent.ie
Official Providence press release.

Definitely a positive development!
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Old February 10th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #66
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Is there a lot of oil down there near Barryroe.
Hope we discover something soon.
Does anyone know when we might hear of a find.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD47 View Post
Does anyone know when we might hear of a find.
I'm not sure but I imagine it could take months if not years.

Here's an interesting article by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on the history of the Norwegian oil industry since the 1950s:

Quote:
Norway’s oil history in 5 minutes

In the late 1950s, very few people believed that the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) might conceal rich oil and gas deposits. However, the discovery of gas at Groningen in the Netherlands in 1959 caused people to revise their thinking on the petroleum potential of the North Sea. This discovery led to enthusiasm in a part of the world where energy consumption to a large extent was based on coal and imported oil. In the eagerness to find more, attention was drawn to the North Sea. Norway’s geological expertise was negative to oil and gas deposits, but this could not stop the enthusiasm after the gas discovery in the Netherlands.

In October 1962, Philips Petroleum sent an application to the Norwegian authorities, for exploration in the North Sea. The company wanted a licence for the parts of the North Sea that were on Norwegian territory, and that would possibly be included in the Norwegian shelf. The offer was 160,000 dollars per month. The offer was seen as an attempt to get exclusive rights, and for the authorities it was out of the question to hand over the whole shelf to one company. If the areas were to be opened for exploration, more companies had to participate.

In May 1963, Einar Gerhardsen’s government proclaimed sovereignty over the NCS. New regulation determined that the State owns any natural resources on the NCS, and that only the King (government) is authorized to award licences for exploration and production. The same year, companies got the possibility to carry out preparatory exploration. The licenses included rights to perform seismic surveys, but not drilling.

Even though Norway had proclaimed sovereignty of large offshore areas, some important clarifications remained on how to divide the continental shelf, primarily with Denmark and Great Britain. Agreements on dividing the continental shelf in accordance with the median line principle were reached in March 1965. First licensing round was announced on 13 April 1965. 22 production licences for a total of 78 blocks were awarded to oil companies or groups of companies. The production licences gave exclusive rights for exploring, drilling, and production in the licence area. The first well was drilled in the summer of 1966, but it was dry.

From the Ekofisk field

With the Ekofisk discovery in 1969, the Norwegian oil adventure really began. Production from the field started on 15 June 1971, and in the following years a number of major discoveries were made. Exploration in the 1970s was confined to the area south of the 62nd parallel. The shelf was gradually opened, and only a restricted number of blocks were awarded in each licensing round. Foreign companies dominated exploration off Norway in the initial phase, and were responsible for developing the country's first oil and gas fields. Statoil was created in 1972, and the principle of 50 percent state participation in each production licence was established. This rule was later changed so that the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) can evaluate whether the level of state participation should be lower or higher, depending on circumstances.

From 1 January 1985, the State's participation in petroleum operations was reorganised. The State's participation was split in two, one linked to the company and the other becoming part of the State's Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) in petroleum operations. SDFI is an arrangement in which the State owns interests in a number of oil and gas fields, pipelines and onshore facilities. Each government take is decided when production licences are awarded and the size varies from field to field. As one of several owners, the State pays its share of investments and costs, and receives a corresponding share of the income from the production licence. The Storting resolved in the spring of 2001 that 21.5 percent of the SDFI's assets could be sold. 15 percent was sold to Statoil and 6.5 percent was sold to other licensees. The sale of SDFI shares to Statoil was seen as an important element on the way to a successful listing and privatisation of Statoil. Statoil was listed in June the same year, and now operates on the same terms as every other player on the NCS. Petoro was established in May 2001 as a state-owned limited company to manage the SDFI on behalf of the State.

Petroleum activities have contributed significantly to economic growth in Norway, and to the financing of the Norwegian welfare state. Through over 40 years of operations, the industry has created values in excess of NOK 8000 billion in current terms. In 2009, the petroleum sector accounted for 21 percent of value creation in the country. This is three times the value creation of the manufacturing industry and around 22 times the total value creation of the primary industries.


The Kristin Oil Platform, photo: Statoil

Since the petroleum industry started its activities on the NCS, enormous sums have been invested in exploration, field development, transport infrastructure and land facilities. At the end of 2009, this amounted to some NOK 3000 billion in current terms. Investments in 2009 amounted to over NOK 134 billion, or 26 percent of the country's total real investments.

In spite of more than 40 years of production, only around 40 percent of the total expected resources on the NCS have been produced. Norwegian oil production has remained at plateau level of about 3 million barrels per day since 1995. Production (including NGL) reached a peak in 2001 of 3.4 million barrels per day. In 2009, the oil production had decreased to 2.4 barrels per day, and is expected to shrink further in the years to come. However, because of increasing gas production, total petroleum production is likely to grow in the coming years. From representing approximately 43 percent of the total Norwegian petroleum production in 2009, gas production will probably increase its share to more than 50 percent in 2013.

(Updatet 11.2010)
Now, I'm not comparing us to Norway, but this line draws parallels with Ireland:

Quote:
Foreign companies dominated exploration off Norway in the initial phase, and were responsible for developing the country's first oil and gas fields.
I'd love to hear the response from the likes of Shell to Sea and the various left-wing groups...
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Old February 11th, 2012, 05:44 PM   #68
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That was a good read.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #69
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Quote:
Shell says Corrib to provide 60% of gas needs
Updated: 13:18, Monday, 13 February 2012


The Corrib Gas terminal is almost complete

The partnership behind the Corrib Gas project is to invest another €800m to bring it to completion between now and late 2014.

Shell E&P Ireland claims the investment will sustain 700 direct jobs and 750 indirect jobs in that period. It says when complete the project will supply 60% of Ireland's gas needs.

The controversial project has been under construction since 2004 and trenchant opposition from groups opposed to the project has kept it in the headlines since.

However, seven years on Shell will soon begin the final phase of the project. The company says this means further investment and "continued high levels of employment" in northwest Mayo.

Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland Michael Crothers confirmed that it will spend another €800m on completing the project by late 2014.

The sea bed wells and pipeline are complete and the terminal is almost complete.

The final phase of work will focus on connecting the deep sea pipe to the terminal via a second pipeline to be contained in a tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0213/corrib.html
...
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Old February 13th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #70
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Maybe now Ireland can start making money out of this.
It looks like it wont be for a while though.
3 years at least.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #71
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Quote:
Anti-fracking protest outside Leinster House
Updated: 18:48, Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Anti-fracking protesters gathered outside Leinster House today as a meeting took place inside between Oireachtas members and a company which hopes to extract gas in North Leitrim.

Members of the Love Leitrim group said they believe fracking would damage the environment of the region and threaten the health of residents.

Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - is a form of mining where millions of gallons of fluid is forced underground in an attempt to crack open rock formations so natural gas can be accessed.

Australian company Tamboran claims it can create more than 3,000 jobs if it is allowed to drill for gas using fracking.

The company met TDs and Senators today for a briefing organised by Senator Susan O'Keeffe.

At the meeting, Sligo-North Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy told the executives that he did not trust them because he said they were only in it for the money.

CEO Richard Moorman denied that the company had overestimated the size of the gas find.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0214/fracking.html
...
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Old February 15th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #72
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More news on what happened at Leinster House yesterday:

Quote:
TDs question gas company about planned use of 'fracking' in Leitrim

RONAN McGREEVY

Wed, Feb 15, 2012


Campaigners protest outside the Dáil yesterday against the use of "fracking" to extract gas, as TDs and Senators attended a meeting with gas exploration company Tamboran. The firm outlined its plans to drill for gas in Leitrim for 30 years.Photograph: Cyril Byrne

THE CONTROVERSIAL process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, will probably start at least a year earlier in Northern Ireland than in the Republic – if it goes ahead at all, a group of TDs and Senators were told yesterday.

Chief executive of gas exploration company Tamboran Richard Moorman said he had hoped the process of drilling for gas in Leitrim and Fermanagh would go ahead together, but he expected it to start earlier in the North because the regulatory process was “much more tuned up” there.

The representatives of Tamboran attended a meeting in the Leinster House audiovisual room organised by Sligo Senator Susan O’Keeffe.

Many local TDs and Senators were also at the meeting at which Tamboran outlined plans to drill for up to 2.2 trillion cubic feet of gas in north Leitrim for 30 years, starting in 2014.

Elected representatives reacted sceptically to claims by the company that the fracking process would be safe.

Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy said: “I do not trust you guys.” He said the company’s primary concern was to make money. He said the burden of proof that the process was safe rested with the company and the go-ahead for drilling should only be given if it was proved “beyond all doubt” that it is safe.

Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Frank Feighan said companies involved in fracking in the US had had to downgrade their estimates of recoverable gas by 80 per cent and he questioned Tamboran’s claims about the amount of gas it could extract.

Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan told the company that if it respected local democracy it would not drill as both Leitrim and Roscommon councils had voted against fracking.

Mr Moorman said Tamboran intended to drill up to 150 wells a year using six well pads. Production was expected to peak in 2025, where maximum employment would be 600 and the wells would produce 400 million cubic feet of gas a day, enough to supply 80 per cent of Ireland’s current needs.

He confirmed that Tamboran would float on the stock exchange in the next six months. The company also had operations in Australia and Botswana.

Mr Moorman told Ms O’Keeffe, that land had not been bought from locals in Leitrim, but the company had spoken to Coillte.

Mr Moorman conceded that most of the people qualified to ascertain whether fracking was safe were already working in the oil and gas industry because that was where the expertise lay.

He said he had already received 200 CVs and recruitment was “not going to be a problem”.

In response to a suggestion by Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte that a different tax regime might apply to onshore drilling, Mr Moorman said they would deal with that issue when it arose.

He disputed Mr Rabbitte’s contention that onshore drilling was not as risky as offshore drilling and so should therefore be subject to a different regime.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old February 15th, 2012, 02:47 PM   #73
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If it will help the economy then I say do it.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #74
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My mum lives in Dalkey... The impression I get is that people aren't opposed to drilling off shore as long as it doesn't disrupt views tbh...

It's a fairly beautiful part of the world, so it's understandable that people would want reassurances that their won't be manky rigs 1km offshore from Dalkey island!!!
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Old February 16th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #75
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Catmalojin, great post about Norwegian oil finds!!!
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nordisk celt83 View Post
My mum lives in Dalkey... The impression I get is that people aren't opposed to drilling off shore as long as it doesn't disrupt views tbh...

It's a fairly beautiful part of the world, so it's understandable that people would want reassurances that their won't be manky rigs 1km offshore from Dalkey island!!!
Yes that is fine but the reason there is a big problem with this is because people complain about anything being built in Dublin or off the coast of Dublin. Then the same people go to the protests against the goverment saying they are not doing anything or not helping the country but then when the goverment have a plan to do something about it like look for oil or gas in Leitrim they are against it and stage a protest anyway. Its the same with highrise. People ask why Dublin is not competing with the rest of Europe and the answer is because you need the likes of highrise to compete and people are rejecting it so thats why. Its just getting stupid at this point. What I would say to the people who protest against fracking and finding oil off the West coast and places like that is dont complain then when there is no money being made and you dont have a job because when we plan on making money you reject what we have to do. Sacrafices have to be made if I am honest with you. Sorry for the rant.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 01:26 AM   #77
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Quote:
New anti-fracking umbrella group established
Updated: 22:36, Thursday, 16 February 2012

A new cross-border umbrella organisation to campaign against hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in Ireland has been established.

Good Energies Alliance Ireland includes a number of groups already campaigning against fracking on both sides of the border and says it is now taking the battle to a new level.

Spokeswoman Dr Aedin McLoughlin said GEAI is adopting a balanced and professional approach to the anti-fracking campaign and is backed by advisors in the areas of economics, law, science, public health and policy development.

She said its plan is to use information and creative, arts-based communication to raise awareness about shale gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing, and to promote sustainable energy sources and jobs.

Energy company Tamboran Resources has claimed that a gas exploration project for Ireland could create 600 full-time jobs.

Tamboran is proposing a €7bn investment, and has said that it would take specific actions to protect air and groundwater if it is allowed to go ahead with the project.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0216/fracking.html
...
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Old February 17th, 2012, 01:36 AM   #78
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Two stories from today's Irish Times:

Quote:
No direct link between fracking and water contamination, study claims

DICK AHLSTROM, Science Editor

Fri, Feb 17, 2012


Fracking has proved controversial, with claims that the process has contaminated groundwater supplies. Above: The Cuadrilla shale fracking operation in Preston, England, has been blamed for two minor earthquakes in the surrounding region.Photograph: Getty Images

RESEARCH FINDINGS: THE RELEASE of natural gas by fracturing rocks deep within the earth, known as fracking, has no direct connection to groundwater contamination, according to a study released yesterday.

Pollution of groundwater has been attributed to other failures including spills of fracking chemicals at the surface and bad drilling practice, the University of Texas at Austin study indicates.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Vancouver Canada heard a session on fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. This is the practice of drilling into gas-bearing shales and then fracturing them to release the gas by pumping down very high pressure water.

However, fracking has proved controversial over the past few years with widespread claims that the process, which includes pumping down thousands of gallons of chemicals into the wells, has contaminated groundwater supplies in some areas.

The university’s energy institute decided to analyse the claims. They concluded that many examples of contamination could be traced to above-ground spills or the release of wastewater produced by the drilling. They did not find evidence in their analysis of several sites that fracking in itself was causing pollution of groundwater.

Many of the problems attributed to the contentious process related to failures common to all oil and gas drilling operations, they said. A common example was accidental releases caused when the cement casings pumped in around the drilling pipe failed. “These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” said Charles Groat, an associate director of the Energy Institute.

The researchers looked at fracking sites in the Barnett Shale of North Texas, the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and New York and the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana.

They found that natural gas pollution of water could be traced to natural sources and was probably present before fracking began.

Mr Groat said: “This study was funded by the university, there was no industry involvement.”

Asked about incidents where people lit gas coming from their water taps, he said: “There are various ways for that gas to get into drinking water. The claims are legitimate, this actually happened.”

But, he said, the cause could not be attributed to the fracking process being conducted at these three sites.

© 2012 The Irish Times
Quote:
North Mayo residents protest at road disruption by Corrib gas haulage

LORNA SIGGINS, Western Correspondent

Fri, Feb 17, 2012


A garda holds local resident Gerry O'Malley while another garda records events as a convoy of lorries passes yesterday at Pollathomas, Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

NORTH MAYO residents have begun a series of protests to reclaim the road they say is being lost to the local community and overtaken by heavy traffic of working equipment and haulage associated with the Corrib gas project.

The residents, who are not aligned to any formal protest grouping, say they feel “abandoned by the State and all its agencies”.

The residents of Pollathomas, Aughoose, Lenamore, Aughagower, Barnacuillew and Glengad live along the L1202 coast road, which runs parallel to the Sruwaddacon estuary in inner Broadhaven Bay. The L1202 is currently one of the main haulage routes for work on the onshore Corrib gas pipeline.

Earlier this week, Shell EP Ireland’s new managing director Michael Crothers said €800 million would be spent on this final phase of the project, sustaining 700 jobs and a further 750 indirectly.

The new onshore pipeline route approved by An Bord Pleanála avoids Rossport, which is on the northern shore of the estuary, a special area of conservation.

A 4.9km tunnel is to be constructed on the estuary between Aughoose and Glengad over 26 months, with gas predicted to flow from the reservoir 70km offshore in late 2014 or early 2015.

Currently, up to three convoys of heavy goods trucks pass along a 10km stretch of road between Ballinaboy and the Aughoose and Glengad work compounds.

Each convoy is accompanied by Garda and I-RMS security escorts.

No reference to escorts is made in the traffic-management plan, which stipulates a maximum speed limit of 60km/h and 50km/h at “pinch points”. It says there should be ongoing communication with the community, with a freephone number provided.

The traffic plan adds that convoys will not travel during school delivery and drop-off times at Pollathomas National School. However, locals say there have been incidents where the road has been closed for up to half an hour, or they have been diverted, missing work and school appointments.

Spokeswoman Betty Schult, Pollathomas, said one form of protest would be the removal of signage associated with the Corrib project.

John Monaghan of Pobal Chill Chomáin community group said he tried to raise the traffic issue at the Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the revised pipeline route in 2010, but was overruled.

Since last August, he said he had put in a series of requests to the Garda superintendent in Belmullet to discuss the issue.

Garda Supt Patrick Diskin of Belmullet said he was willing to meet Mr Monaghan and had “not received any complaints regarding an alleged breach of the traffic management plan”. He denied any road closures and said they were “temporary restrictions”.

Fine Gael Belmullet-based councillor Gerry Coyle, who supported the gas project from the outset, said he felt very upset for “ordinary decent people”.

Mayo County Council yesterday condemned the removal of signage as a “reckless action which could compromise public safety” and said there had been “no complaints” regarding the heavy goods vehicle convoys on the L1202.

Shell EP and I-RMS did not respond to queries on the issue.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old February 18th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #79
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Today's Irish Times again has a few stories:

Quote:
Submissions seek public inquiry on Dublin Bay drilling

PAUL CULLEN, Political Staff

Sat, Feb 18, 2012

ALMOST 700 individual submissions and 4,100 petitions have been made in relation to plans by a Dublin-based exploration company to survey and drill for oil and gas in Dublin Bay.

Virtually all the submissions call for a public inquiry on the application by Providence Resources for a foreshore licence application allowing survey and drilling work 6km off Dalkey Island. Most express outright opposition to the proposal.

Among the submissions to the Department of the Environment is one from Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore, who represents the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown constituency. While not objecting outright to the drilling plans, Mr Gilmore raises a number of concerns and calls for a public inquiry before any application for commercial drilling is made.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan says the licence application will be assessed by the department’s marine licence vetting committee.

“I expect that the environmental assessment will consider potential impacts on European sites, sensitive species, other legitimate uses within the area the subject of the application, and navigation issues,” Mr Hogan told United Left Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett this week.

The Minister said he would make a decision on the application “in due course”, taking into account the recommendation of the vetting committee and his department.

In his submission Mr Gilmore says he is concerned at the amount of time – 21 days – provided for consultation.

He says the area being considered for exploration is “particularly close” to a large population centre and is important for tourism and fishing. “The issues which arise include the possible damage to areas of fishery conservation, the consequences of any possible oil spill not only on the marine environment but also on the amenity of Dublin Bay, and the consequences for the large population living around the bay.”

Mr Hogan has already rejected an earlier call by Mr Gilmore for a public inquiry into the foreshore application. However, in his submission Mr Gilmore appears to suggest a public hearing later in the process when a separate foreshore application is made at a stage before commercial drilling is allowed.

“Commercial drilling in this location, so close to the shore, and so close to a large population, should only be considered after the widest possible consultation and the most thorough examination of all the issues, which would best be achieved by the holding of a public inquiry.”

Backing a public inquiry, local Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor says residents’ fears over the environmental impact and possible oil spills need to be allayed.

She also says clarification is needed about the revenue the State would get from any oil find.

“I do not want a repeat of what happened in Mayo where neighbours are at war, businesses boycotted and where the Garda Síochána, paid by the taxpayer, had to be employed for years to keep the peace.”

Five Fine Gael county councillors in Dún Laoghaire have also written to Mr Hogan seeking a public inquiry.

An Taisce warns of an “environmental disaster” in the event of an oil spill because of the proximity of drilling to the shore and the nature of Dublin Bay. It says never before has drilling taken place so close to land and to a high population concentration.

Singer Christy Moore, who says the proposals raise “genuine issues of environmental concern”, is critical of a lack of clarity on the economic benefits involved.

The submissions have been published on the department’s website: environ.ie

© 2012 The Irish Times
Quote:
Protesters halt work at Corrib gas project

Sat, Feb 18, 2012

Work was disrupted at the Corrib gas project in north Co Mayo yesterday when up to 70 protesters staged a blockade, writes Lorna Siggins.

Earlier this week, residents on the southern side of Sruwaddacon estuary, where the onshore pipeline works are continuing, removed road signs from the L1202 road.

Shell EP Ireland has drawn up a traffic management plan for the final stage of the project, but residents have said that the plan does not allow for the impact of Garda and security escorts.

Supt Patrick Diskin of Belmullet Garda station said he had received no complaints on the road issue, and said he wished to place on record the co-operation which the Garda had received from motorists.

He denied residents’ claims that there were road closures and also denied there were “temporary restrictions”, as had been attributed to him by this newspaper yesterday.

© 2012 The Irish Times
And a plan for a gas terminal for imported gas in the Shannon region:

Quote:
Gas terminal delay criticised

GORDON DEEGAN

Sat, Feb 18, 2012

A €1 BILLION investment with the potential to create 800 jobs is being held up by “bureaucracy”, the chief executive of a semi-State company has claimed.

Shannon Foynes Port Company chief executive Pat Keating expressed frustration yesterday over delays concerning the Shannon LNG proposed liquefied natural gas import terminal on the Shannon estuary at Ballylongford, Co Kerry.

Planning permission was secured for the development four years ago but work has yet to start on the project, which will have the capacity to supply up to 45 per cent of Ireland’s gas requirements to the national grid.

Shannon LNG has already spent €40 million on the plan, Mr Keating told delegates at the Midwest Regional Authority annual conference at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, Co Clare.

“It is like we are putting a red light up to investment, despite all of the rhetoric about attracting investment into the country,” he said.

Mr Keating said the terminal had secured planning permission within six months, but the company had to wait two years and nine months for a foreshore licence.

“It is now being held up by a consultation process with the Commission for Energy Regulation, which has been ongoing for the past 14 months,” he said.

“The general feedback from Shannon LNG is that they find it difficult to deal with the agencies.”

He added that the project had the potential to be a “huge boost” for the midwest region.

Shannon Foynes Port Company handles 34 per cent of Ireland’s seaport trade.

The Government is planning to designate the lower Shannon estuary a special protection area for birds but it has received 124 objections to the proposal.

According to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Shannon estuary protection area site “is the most important coastal wetland site in the country and regularly supports in excess of 50,000 wintering waterfowl, a concentration easily of international importance”.

Mr Keating told delegates at the conference yesterday that the nature designation in the estuary had “the potential to be a major, major stumbling block and totally alienate the future potential of the Shannon estuary from economic development”.

“We have had a lot of feedback from investors, people who advise investors, planning authorities, and they are stating that this is a game changer for the competitive position of the region in attracting investment.”

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old February 18th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #80
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Protest after protest after protest. When will it end.
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