Wednesday 14 November 2007

Gas route: Pipeline negotiations

THE focus on the Corrib project is likely to turn to the onshore gas pipeline, which is being considered along three different routes by Shell.

The energy company’s deputy managing director Terry Nolan yesterday deemed the expected EPA decision to award the terminal licence as a “significant milestone” for the delivery of natural gas to the Irish market.

However, negotiations with Mayo landowners on deciding which route will be used to bring the raw gas ashore to the Ballinaboy terminal will be the ultimate stepping stone that bridges the project with national and local needs.

It is estimated that the value of the gas stored 83km off the west coast in wells is worth up to €3 billion for the Irish economy. In the last week, the energy group said two more wells were completed and its drilling season offshore for 2007 was complete.

The EPA licence granted yesterday allows up to 9.9 million cubic metres of gas to be processed daily at the Ballinaboy terminal.

The preferred corridor out of three for Shell’s onshore pipeline is expected to be decided before the end of next month.

Meanwhile, work at the terminal in north Mayo will continue. Up to 450 people are working at the site and there are plans for more than 700 jobs by the middle of next year.

Irish Examiner

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