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Award for deadly Corrib Gas Project

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Protesters campaigning against the controversial Corrib Gas Project in Ireland: Photo courtesy of Shell to Sea.com

By John Donovan

It does seem odd that The Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline has been voted Engineering Project of the Year at this years Engineers Ireland Awards.

I say this bearing in mind the news just months ago that two of the construction firms involved in the project face trial over a workplace death that occurred. See the Irish Times report below.

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Corrib companies charged over gas tunnel death

Two construction firms face trial over fatal workplace incident at Co Mayo project

Lorna Siggins: Wed, Jun 8, 2016

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Irish Police, Shell, Corruption and Alcohol

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Regular visitors to this website will be aware of the admittance made by a Shell “Mr. Fixit” contractor on the Corrib Gas development in Ireland, that at Shell’s behest, they distributed bribes to smooth the path of the controversial project. On one occasion, €30,000 was splashed out on free booze for the Irish police (the Garda).

Interesting then to see a recent article published by The Irish Times, reporting  that a whistleblower – a serving police officer – has made bribery allegations implicating 50 Garda officers in a tale of corruption involving the pub trade. Cheers.

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Many Irish names feature in Bahamas registry

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Extracts from an article by Colm Keena published by The Irish Times on 22 Sept 2016

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screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-21-22-23Shell E&P Ireland Offshore Inc associated with Corrib gas project

Two companies registered in the Bahamas and used by Dublin property investor Paul Fenelon for investments in the UK are among companies of Irish interest on the Corporate Registry of the Bahamas.

The registry, normally difficult to access, is being made publicly available by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), of which The Irish Times is a media partner.

Shell E & P Ireland Offshore Inc, a company with an address in Nassau, has had a number of Irish directors over the years, starting in 2000.  The company is associated with the Corrib gas project in Co Mayo.

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Locals disappointed at sanction on Shell for gas flaring

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Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.15.18Shell to Sea says €1,000 fine equivalent to ‘65 seconds… of current Corrib sales revenue’

By Lorna Siggins

North Mayo residents living close to the Corrib gas refinery have expressed disappointment at the level of sanction imposed on Shell E&P Ireland over gas flaring last New Year’s Eve.

The multinational was fined €1,000 and ordered ordered to pay €15,000 in legal costs in relation to causing light and noise pollution from a gas flare during start-up testing at the Corrib gas terminal in Co Mayo on December 31st and January 1st.

The company pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court on Monday to breaching two parts of its industrial emissions licence, which had been awarded for project last year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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65 seconds of Shell/Corrib sales will pay €1,000 flaring fine

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Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.15.18News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – Sept 6th, 2016 – For immediate release

— Shell fined EUR1,000 while making an estimated EUR240 million in Corrib sales so far this year —

Yesterday (5th September) at Dublin District Court, Shell were fined EUR1,000 after pleading guilty to causing light and noise pollution from gas flaring at Bellanaboy refinery last New Years Eve. The prosecution was brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following complaints from people living around the Bellanaboy refinery.[1]

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EPA is prosecuting Shell over Corrib gas flaring incident

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Lorna Siggins: 6 July 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is prosecuting Shell E&P Ireland for breaching its emissions license at the Corrib gas refinery in north Mayo.

A summons was issued by the EPA late last week, The Irish Times has learned.

The prosecution relates to the EPA’s six-month investigation into an intense flaring incident at the refinery on December 31st, 2015.

Residents who had experience of test flaring over the past year had described as “frightening” the activity, which lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes, from about 8.15pm on New Year’s Eve.

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Concern over increasing frequency of Corrib Gas Flaring

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By John Donovan

A gas flaring event is the burning off of flammable gas released by pressure relief valves as a protection and safety measure during unplanned over-pressuring of plant equipment.

The attached authentic Shell document lists over 260 gas flaring events that have already taken place at the new Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal.

It is noticeable that the unplanned events appear to be increasing, rather than declining e.g. 58 gas flaring events were recorded in just 9 days in January 2016. 

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Corrib Gas: local residents query intense flaring at Ballinaboy

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Lorna Siggins: 18 FEB 2016

The Government is seeking tenders to monitor the Corrib gas pipeline on behalf of the Department of Energy.

The monitoring will require spot checks of the high pressure pipeline carrying gas from the Corrib field to an inland refinery and its shore valve, according to details published this week on the eTenders website.

The contract is initially for two years only, and will involve weekly reports to the department and answering any queries that the public may have about the project.

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Corrib Gas: Was it worth it? Yes.

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Corrib Gas: Was it worth it? Yes.

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Brendan Cafferty: 27 JAN 2016

As the gas starts to flow a member of the pro gas lobby reflects on the controversy

Who is to blame for the delay?

The gas was due ashore in 2002 at a cost of €800 million. It finally arrives at the start of 2016 at a cost of €3.5 billion-€4 billion. Planning such a huge project was, of course, protracted, with EPA and An Bord Pleanála hearings. Kevin Moore, the board’s planning inspector, did at the outset recommend that planning not be granted for the terminal at Ballinaboy, but the board of An Bord Pleanála did not agree with him – something that is not unusual.

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Corrib gas a ‘template’ for ‘how not to undertake a development’

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Lorna Siggins: 26 JAN 2016

The Corrib gas project is a template for “how not to undertake a development”, according to a new planning approach published by the British Institution of Civil Engineers.

Although the gas project has secured its final Government approval from Minister for Energy Alex White, the prospect of further legal challenges and the large Garda presence at an “invitation-only” opening reflects the fact that it still does not have community consent.

Two of the report’s four authors say that had both Shell and Government agencies adopted a more democratic approach, they could have avoided cost overruns, including “the loss of at least €600 million loss to the tax payer”, and could also have “avoided the serious ensuing conflict with the local community”.

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20 years after gas discovery, Corrib opens in north Mayo

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Lorna Siggins: 24 JAN 2016

The €3.5 billion Corrib gas development is due to be opened by Minister of State for Natural Resources Joe McHugh on Monday, almost 20 years after the gas discovery was reported off the north Mayo coast.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had been earmarked for the invitation-only event, but will be at Downing Street in London. Corrib shareholders Shell, Statoil and Vermillion are hosting a plaque unveiling and lunch in Belmullet, almost 15km from the gas refinery.

While much of the town’s focus is currently on sale of the €13.7 million winning Lotto ticket in Carey’s newsagent, the project opening represents a significant milestone.

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Ruairí McKiernan: Corrib gas protesters did State some service

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…many of those involved have been ridiculed, slandered, spied on, harassed, beaten and jailed – all for upholding their democratic right to peaceful dissent. Incidents included the 2005 jailing of the Rossport Five, who spent 94 days in prison at the behest of Shell.

Ruairí McKiernan

As gas is flared into the skies above north Mayo, it is worth reflecting on a project that has been one of modern Ireland’s greatest scandals, a stunning fiasco in planning, economics, environmental protection and the abuse of civil liberties.

Far from it being just about energy supply, jobs and development, the Corrib gas project cuts to the core of this republic and asks big questions about how the country is run.

For more than 10 years now, campaigners have attempted to highlight the project’s many flaws.

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