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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Shell boss says gas project still five years from completion

From The Irish Independent
Published: Jul 13, 2006

CORRIB gas will be at least five years later in arriving on shore even if all local resistance to the project disappeared immediately, it has been warned.

Andy Pyle, managing director of Shell Exploration and Production Ireland Ltd, said that even if long-drawn conciliation talks concluded quickly – a year after the jailing of the Rossport Five reached crisis point – it would still take years from the clearing of all hurdles to bring the Mayo project to fruition.

“We agreed to cease work on the project over a year ago to allow for the carrying out of an Independent Safety Review and we have wholeheartedly accepted its recommendations and will be implementing them,” Mr Pyle said.

He said he was obliged to maintain confidentiality about the conciliation process ongoing in Rossport, Co Mayo, which began earlier this year between local residents and the company under the chairmanship of former top trade unionist Peter Cassells.

But Mr Pyle added: “We are very anxious to restart work again as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, a Dail committee heard yesterday that Ireland had experienced only two big finds of hydrocarbon reserves in the past 40 years of exploration in our territorial waters.

Fergus Cahill, chairman of the Irish Offshore Operators Association, said it was “thus not surprising that a degree of pessimism has formed regarding the Irish offshore”.

Mr Cahill told the committee of communications, marine and natural resources that the Kinsale Head field, which is now almost exhausted, had been discovered in 1972.

But it was nearly a further quarter of a century before the discovery of another commercial find – which was the Corrib gas field in 1996.

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