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Irish Times: Shell open to new talks on pipeline

By: Tim O’Brien,
Published: Sep 23, 2006

Shell E&P Ireland, which is developing the Corrib Gas project, has in the last few days invited the principal opponents of the project to new talks.

Shell E&P managing director Andy Pyle said yesterday that the company had written to Dr Mark Garavan, of the Shell to Sea campaign, seeking dialogue on a new route for the onshore pipeline. The company is planning to resume work on the Bellanaboy terminal site as early as next week.

Mr Pyle said that the company had “no intention of getting involved in any civil actions” against protesters and he hoped that any protests “would be peaceful”.

Pressed on reports of possible future involvement by Bord Gais, Mr Pyle said that the State company had valuable experience and was involved in discussions with Shell E&P which “were very helpful”.

The company had produced an indicative timetable, based on the project moving ahead smoothly. This envisaged preparatory seasonal work at Bellanaboy, starting this month, with peat removal from the site resuming in the spring of 2007. Construction of the terminal would begin in autumn 2007 and would continue for about two years.

Gas could be flowing from the Corrib field by 2009. It is estimated that it could supply 60 per cent of the State’s requirement at its peak and would gradually decline over 15 years. The project cost to Shell and its partners was about 900 million, a “good half” of which had already been spent.

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