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Shell gets €60m injection to complete Corrib gas link

By Gordon Deegan

Monday April 25 2011

SHELL Ireland has received a further cash injection of €60 million from its parent company to complete the Corrib gas field project.

This brings to €190m Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL) has received in additional cash in recent months as it prepares to wrap up the final phase of the project, that includes the construction of a 5km tunnel to bring gas ashore in north Mayo.

Documents recently filed with the Companies Office show that this has brought SEPIL’s share capital to €614m.

The field has one trillion cubic feet of gas and the final spend on developing it is expected to top €2.5bn — more than three times the original estimate of €800m.

SEPIL has secured all the necessary state permissions and licences to proceed with the construction of the tunnel.

A SEPIL spokeswoman said: “Now that all the necessary consents and permits are in place Shell E&P Ireland Limited plans to commence construction in the coming months, once all the relevant pre-commencement conditions associated with the three consents have been completed.”

The numbers to be employed in the final phase are not yet confirmed, but it is expected that several hundred jobs will be created.

An Taisce and two local residents have instituted legal action in the Commercial Court against An Bord Pleanala‘s decision to give the on-shore pipeline the go-ahead. The case has been adjourned until October and doesn’t impact on Shell Ireland’s ability to proceed with the work as no court injunction has been sought or granted.

The SEPIL spokeswoman said that “it is anticipated that first gas will flow in 2013 at the earliest”.

Construction of the tunnel will take about 22 months.

The tunnel project only came into the picture after An Bord Pleanala ruled out a previous pipeline plan on safety grounds.

Last year, it emerged that two of Shell’s partners in the project, Marathon Oil and Statoil wrote off €399m arising from delays with the project and falling gas prices.

Canadian company Vermilion Energy bought Marathon’s 18.5pc share in the field in 2009.

– Gordon Deegan

Irish Independent


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