THE RECENT claim by Tamboran Resources that there could be over two trillion cubic feet of natural gas locked in shale beneath the surface of north Leitrim and adjoining counties has shown that Ireland now stands at the threshold of a new “age of extreme energy”, as the Post Carbon Institute has dubbed it. Australian-owned Tamboran describes itself as an “innovative explorer for hydrocarbons in Australia and overseas”, using hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as “fracking” – to capture shale gas in onshore locations. The benefits of bringing such gas into production, especially given our overwhelming dependence on imported fossil fuels, are obvious. But so are the risks.
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