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Irish Independent: Offshore platform at Corrib 'not viable'

Offshore platform at Corrib 'not viable'
Irish Independent; May 06, 2006

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AN offshore platform to bring gas from the Corrib field 83 kilometres off the Co Mayo coast was effectively ruled out by Shell managing director yesterday.

Andy Pyle was visiting Castlebar to meet representatives of the media on his first visit to Mayo since the publication of the Advantica report into the safety of the onshore pipeline.

Mr Pyle said the offshore terminal had been discounted previously for safety, environment and technical reasons.

“We did not believe an offshore platform was viable before. We do not believe it is viable now.”

Mr Pyle, who returned to Dublin last night without having met with Shell to Sea representatives or the Rossport Five, who spent 94 days in jail last year for their opposition to the controversial pipeline, said he was hoping to meet them at the earliest opportunity.

“We have to explain the genuine reasons why an offshore platform is not viable and try to get rid of the view that there somehow is an easy solution.

“Even if we went offshore, we would still have a pipeline which would operate at similar pressures. In safety terms, there would be no difference.”

Mr Pyle said the route chosen through Rossport to the proposed processing terminal at Bellanaboy was the best option.

Tom Shiel

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