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Shell hell comes to Donegal

category donegal | environment | news report author Wednesday August 17, 2005 10:55author by ShelltoSea.com - North West Report this post to the editors

The West is Awake!!!

Despite the continued mess that Shell and their partners have created in Mayo, the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey has granted a further exploration off the Donegal coast.

The exploration licence granted to Shell E&P and Island Oil and Gas covers an area of 15,800 square kilometres and is valid for 16 years. Although these are deemed to be 'frontier licences' it is widely speculated that the Corrib gas field could be linked to further lucrative reserves between Donegal and North Mayo.

If reserves are found in Donegal then a repeat of the Mayo scandal could easily happen in Donegal in the not too distant future. Enterprise Energy, Shell's predecessor, had an office in Killybegs as far back as 2001 and their former Public and Government Affairs Manager, Ms Rosemary Steen was reported to have said they were ''confident about the company's exploration programme which will involve a further well in Corrib and an oil prospect off Donegal.''

A spokeperson for the Shell to Sea campaign in Donegal commented 'This is an outrage. It's like handing a weapon to a dangerous criminal. Our cosy government are intent in adding insult to injury by promoting the ongoing rape and robbery of our natural resources, environment and rights. Shell have proven they can't be trusted around the world. Their record in Nigeria speaks volumes and their behaviour in Mayo is sickening. The people of Donegal will not tolerate this continued assault on the people of the West. We will organise, resist and expose this rotten licensing deal and the all too cosy relationship between government and big business.'

The Shell to Sea campaign already has a strong presence in Donegal and campaigners are determined to continue their solidarity with the Mayo people as well as up the pressure in light of yesterday's revelations.

There have been public meetings in Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Glenties, Gweedore and Letterkenny with protests taking place in Glenties and Letterkenny. A major petitioning and leafleting campaign is taking place throughout the county and regular updates take place on Highland Radio, Ocean FM and in the various Donegal newspapers.

The Donegal connection also includes Mark Carrigy, the Corrib gas field project manager who hails from Letterkenny. Recently the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council rejected the motion by Councillor Pearse Doherty calling on the council to support the release of the Rossport 5. The Cathaoirleach ruled that the issue had nothing to do with Donegal. Well, it certainly appears that everything has changed now and Donegal County Council will be hearing a lot more about this issue.

The Natural Resources Department is still accepting licensing applications for the Slyne/Erris/Donegal Licensing Round off the north west coast. The closing date for is March 2006.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Inishowen headpublication date Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to let you know that the Rossport 5 have got massive coverage on ICR in Inishowen, you can pick it up on 105fm as far over as Dunfanaghy on a good day. ICR is a community radio station and has a good record of covering issues of community interest, environment, human rights etc.

Call them on 07493 29105

Just a bit pissed off to see you plugging radio Fianna Fail ( ie Highland Radio) when there are decent media outlets in Donegal.

author by Ruairipublication date Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

howdy, as it happens we've been on Inishowen Radio on an almost weekly basis and they're mighty! Really good.

Actually, Highland Radio (the biggest ? regional radio station in Ireland) has been pretty accessible although nothing like they could be so have to offer credit where due.

Reference to Highland was simply more for general recognition of campaign. Not really important but thanks for comments...

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Bo - London Rising Tidepublication date Thu Aug 18, 2005 15:03author email london at risingtide dot org dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell wins exploration licence off Irish coast
By John Murray Brown in Dublin and Thomas Catan in London
Published: August 18 2005 03:00 | Last updated: August 18 2005 03:00

Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch energy group, has been awarded a licence to explore for oil and gas off the west coast of Ireland, where it is engaged in a legal dispute with residents about a proposed gas refinery and pipeline.

Shell submitted an application in partnership with Eni of Italy and OMV of Austria for four blocks in a deepwater area known as the Irish Rockall Trough, 150 miles off the Donegal coast. The company now has five licences for offshore exploration in the waters off Ireland. Island Oil and Gas, an Irish company listed in London, was also awarded a licence.

The award to Shell was immediately attacked by local campaigners, who are fighting Shell's plans for the onshore refinery and pipeline in north Mayo.

The 900m (612m) project will treat the gas from Shell's Corrib field, which it is developing with Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned company, and Marathon of the US. Corrib, Ireland's only find in the past 20 years, was discovered by Enterprise Energy, which Shell bought in 2002, and is strategically vital to Shell's long-term energy plans.

Five residents of Rossport were imprisoned in June for contempt of court after trying to stop Shell starting construction of the pipeline, which would go through their village. Work on the project is suspended at present.

Irish exploration terms are some of the most attractive in the world, reflecting the lack of success companies have had.

According to figures from the ministry of natural resources, 121 wells have been drilled in Irish waters in the past 20 years compared with 7,000 in the UK section of the North Sea.

The Irish government has been attacked by environmental campaigners for giving away the country's natural resources too cheaply.

Oil and gas companies are entitled to recover their exploration and production costs in full before paying tax, after which profits are taxed at 25 per cent. In the North Sea, the tax rate is 40 per cent.

The awards to Shell and Island comprise just 10 per cent of the acreage under offer, another illustration of the difficulties the Irish government is having attracting international companies to invest in the sector.

Separately, Shell confirmed it was considering a bid for several Arctic oil and gas fields in Russia as part of its efforts to expand its depleted reserves.

"A Shell team has visited the region to examine the geological data," the company said, adding that the company would "make a decision on whether to bid for acreage in due course".

Shell is the largest foreign investor in Russia and has said it wants to increase its presence further.

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