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Irish Times: Shell appeals to pipeline objectors for ‘calm’

Irish Times: Shell appeals to pipeline objectors for ‘calm’

“Shell E&P Ireland has appealed for “calm” and for “reasoned and constructive dialogue” with objecting landowners in north Mayo concerning the Corrib gas pipeline. The company made its appeal as it confirmed that operations at its terminal site at Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, remain suspended due to protests.”

Thursday July 07, 2005

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

Shell E&P Ireland has appealed for “calm” and for “reasoned and constructive dialogue” with objecting landowners in north Mayo concerning the Corrib gas pipeline.

The company made its appeal as it confirmed that operations at its terminal site at Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, remain suspended due to protests. It said it welcomed this week’s publication, by Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey, of a new safety review of Shell’s quantified risk assessment (QRA) of the pipeline. The Minister will base his consent for the high-pressure pipeline on the findings of this review and other reports, according to his department.

However, a Galway-based construction engineer, Brian Coyle, has dismissed the new safety review as inadequate because of the absence of suitable historical data for comparison with theoretical predictions.

“This pipeline running so close to people’s houses and lands has no precedent, and so the consultants have no precedent to work from,” Mr Coyle said. “The Minister is not being given enough information on which to base an approval for this.”

The review was carried out for the Minister by AEA Technology, a company which does work for Shell. Mr Coyle said the study indicates insufficient information and time has been provided to the consultants. It also identifies the concern that the local people have when it states that “no assessments have been carried out for pipelines with the same design and operating conditions to the Corrib pipeline”, he said.

There were many unknown causes of pipeline failures and their frequency hadn’t been considered in the original QRA or commented upon in reviews. Shell said yesterday the reports show the pipeline risks would be acceptable to international standards.

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