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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. read more

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.  read more

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. read more

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. read more

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”. read more

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. read more

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. read more

EPA investigating gas flaring levels at Corrib gas project

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Shell acknowledged that the flaring was “exceptional” on December 31st, and has promised to “take all measures” to minimise further occurrences…

Lorna Siggins: Mon 4 Jan 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is investigating the intense flaring of gas at the Corrib gas plant which alarmed north Mayo residents on New Year’s Eve.

The EPA has confirmed it is “liaising and will continue to liaise with the licensee, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd regarding the operation of the flare”.

It says under the project’s emissions licence conditions, flaring can only be used “for safety reasons or for non-routine operational conditions”. read more

Gas flaring at Corrib plant ‘frightening’, says resident

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 22.40.21Lorna Siggins: Friday 1st January 2016

Residents living close to the Corrib gas plant in north Mayo have expressed alarm over the intensity of gas flaring during New Year’s Eve.

Shell E&P Ireland acknowledged on Friday evening that the flaring level was “exceptional”.

“As the start up process continues, there may be further intermittent flaring activity in the coming days,” it said.

“This will not be at the same level and we will take all measures to minimise any flaring occurrences,” it said. read more

Natural gas begins flowing from controversial Corrib field

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Peter Murtagh: 30 Dec 2015

Natural gas is flowing into the national supply grid from the Corrib gas field off Co Mayo for the first time since it was discovered in 1996.

One of six wellheads, drilled in 350m of water 84km off the west coast, was opened on Wednesday by the field developer, Shell E&P Ireland.

This started gas flowing through a 20 inch diameter off-shore pipeline to an 8.3km-long on-shore pipeline, which includes a 4.9km tunnel beneath Sruwaddacon Bay, the longest in Ireland.

It continues from there into the company’s reception terminal at Ballanaboy, near Belmullet in Co Mayo. read more

Shell granted permission for Corrib gas project

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Tue, Dec 29, 2015

Minister for Energy Alex White has given final approval for the Corrib gas project, almost 20 years after the discovery of the gas field off the Mayo coastline.

Mr White has issued Shell E&P Ireland with consent to operate the Corrib natural gas pipeline, linking the subsea gas facilities 83km offshore to the onshore refinery at Ballinaboy.

The consent is subject to 20 conditions relating to “environmental management, operation, control and monitoring”, Mr White said in a statement. read more

Concern over Shell gas flow delay

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Concern over Shell gas flow delay

Saturday, 26th December, 2015

A MAYO TD has expressed concern over the delay in issuing the final regulatory approval to Shell E&P Ireland that will enable the company to start producing gas from the Corrib Gas Field in north Mayo.

Deputy Michelle Mulherin said it is the interest of the State to have gas flowing and she called on Energy Minister Alex White to ensure the assessment process be given additional resources and expedited.

She argued: “From an international point of view it doesn’t send out a great message, especially as we continue to press hard to attract further foreign direct investment into this country. The last thing the country wants is to be seen as ‘the poster boy for frustration’ by people in industry and trade who could be put off in investing here. read more

Is it worth it for Shell and BG to do a deal?

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Fiona Walsh: 16 Dec 2015

When Royal Dutch Shell launched its blockbuster £47 billion (€65 billion) bid for BG, oil was changing hands on energy markets at about $60 a barrel and the price was forecast to rise to $70.

Nine months later benchmark Brent crude has slid to a seven-year low below $40 a barrel. So the value of Shell’s shares and cash offer for BG has been cut from £47 billion in April to £35 billion. So do the economics of a deal that would have created a business valued at more than £200 billion still add up? read more

Shell granted licence by EPA for Mayo gas refinery

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Friday, Oct 9, 2015

Shell has been granted an industrial emissions licence by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its gas refinery at Bellanaboy, Co Mayo.

The licence is one of the last consents required by the Corrib gas developers. The licence allows for “operation of a gas refinery” and “combustion of fuels”. It was issued by the agency on Thursday October 8th and has been posted on the EPA’s website.

In August the company submitted the application to the department for permission to operate the 91 kilometre-long high pressure pipeline in north Mayo under section 40 of the Gas Acts. read more

OSSL Whistleblower Email Sent to Irish Police, Irish Times and Shell on 28 August 2015

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From: THE OSSL COMPANY <[email protected]>

Date: 28 August 2015 08:10:45 BST

To: Pearse_Street_DS <[email protected]>, [email protected], [email protected], Commissioner <[email protected]>, “<[email protected]>” <[email protected]>, Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>, [email protected]

Subject: Corrib CEO ..a Shell man …the day the nightmare began …top cop Gannon.

The Shell CEO appointed to Corrib, accompanied by his Local liaison officer unannounced arrived in the premises of OSSL. read more

Shell urges ‘prompt processing’ of Corrib pipeline application

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Lorna Siggins: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Shell E&P Ireland has urged the Department of Energy to ensure “prompt processing” of its application to operate the Corrib gas pipeline, as it says that “all of the elements of the Corrib gas field are in an advanced state of readiness”.

The company has submitted an application to the department for permission to operate the 91 kilometre-long high pressure pipeline in north Mayo under section 40 of the Gas Acts. Details of the application were not available on the department’s website on Wednesday. read more

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