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Irish Times: Clarification sought on gas pipeline plans

Clarification sought on gas pipeline plans
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Irish Times; May 13, 2006

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The Government's Corrib gas pipeline mediator Peter Cassells has asked Shell E&P Ireland's chief executive Andy Pyle to clarify the company's position on alternative plans for the project.

Mr Cassells met Mr Pyle in Dublin yesterday as part of the continuing mediation between the multinational and the five men who were jailed for 94 days last year over their opposition to the onshore pipeline.

However, Shell E&P Ireland declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting yesterday on the basis that it was now abiding by the mediation ground rules involving confidentiality.

The company has issued conflicting statements on its plans over the past week since the release of the Government's latest safety review of the pipeline by Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey.

Although it has said it regrets the jailing of the five men last year, the company is also continuing with its application for a permanent injunction against a group of non-consenting landowners – including three of the five men who were imprisoned.

On May 4th, the day after the review's publication, Shell E&P Ireland's chief executive confirmed that alternative routes for the onshore pipeline had recently been reviewed and said it was prepared to discuss all options. But Mr Pyle dismissed the offshore option a day later when he spoke to media in Castlebar on May 5th.

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