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Bloomberg: Protesters Break Into Shell Refinery Site in Pipeline Dispute

By Louisa Nesbitt

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Protesters opposed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s planned natural-gas pipeline in western Ireland broke into the gas project’s refinery during a protest march, according to a campaign group spokesman.

Around 50 people entered the site after a march involving as many as 400 people, said Mark Garavan, a spokesman for the “Shell to Sea” group, by telephone today. The protesters vandalized tools and equipment, Shell said in an e-mailed statement.

Shell agreed last year to re-route the pipe, intended to pump gas from the offshore Corrib gas field, away from people’s homes in a bid to end local opposition that has delayed work for more than a year.

That hasn’t satisfied protesters, who want the gas processed off the coast.

Shell says that can’t be done because the field is too deep and the sea too rough.
“A small group of people seem to have decided to get entry to the refinery site,” Garavan said. “That wasn’t part of what we had planned to do. It is a matter of concern.”

A police spokeswoman didn’t immediately have information.

“It was a very threatening and regrettable experience for the workers involved,” Shell said in a statement. “This again shows that the Shell to Sea rhetoric about peaceful protests is simply untrue.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Louisa Nesbitt in Dublin at [email protected]
Last Updated: February 16, 2007 08:19 EST

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