SHELL E&P Ireland has abandoned its plan to lay the offshore pipeline for the Corrib gas project, and hopes to resume work next year.
The company confirmed yesterday that the world's largest offshore pipelaying vessel, Solitaire, was no longer under contract to it.
The Solitaire was reported to have sustained damage shortly after it arrived in Broadhaven Bay, Co Mayo, to begin laying the controversial pipeline. As a result, the work was suspended on September 10th.
Shell EP Ireland is still awaiting a decision from Bord Pleanála on its submission under the Strategic Infrastructure Act for a modified route for the onshore pipeline.
Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan and Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó Cuív held private talks with a number of groups in north Mayo earlier this month in a bid to resolve the controversy surrounding the project.
This was the first Government intervention since Government mediator Peter Cassells was appointed in late 2005.
Pobal Chill Chomáin, one of the community groupings involved in the talks with the two Ministers, was invited to attend this week's congress in Norway hosted by Safe, the federation of oil and gas workers' unions.
In his address to the congress in Stavanger yesterday, Pobal Chill Chomáin chairman Vincent McGrath said the community was not against the gas project. But it wanted "genuine partnership and a Corrib that we can all live with".
The Irish Times