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Bloomberg: Shell Resumes Work at Irish Terminal as Protestors are Removed

By Dara Doyle

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc resumed work on a terminal in western Ireland after police cleared protestors blocking the site of a facility intended to process natural gas from the $1.1 billion offshore Corrib gas field.

About 170 police officers removed 60 campaigners from Bellanaboy, near Rossport in County Mayo, enabling 70 workers to begin work. The police also towed away cars and closed off approach roads to prevent the protest from growing.

“Workers have a right to work,” Susan Shannon, a spokeswoman for Shell, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said by phone from Dublin. “We believe it’s only a small group of people within the local community who oppose this development.”

Work on the terminal has been delayed for more than year by opposition from local residents, who want the gas processed off the coast rather than piped ashore. Shell says it can’t meet that demand because the field, which will be able to supply 60 percent of Ireland’s gas needs over the next two decades, is too deep and the sea too rough.

The workers began preparatory engineering and environmental work today, according to Shell. The company, whose partners in the project are Statoil ASA and Marathon Oil Corp., plans to begin full construction of the terminal in the first quarter of next year.

The terminal is due be completed in three years, as the company seeks to tap a field contains about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Five Rossport residents spent 94 days in jail last year for obstructing construction of the pipeline leading to the terminal. In a bid to end the dispute, Shell said on Aug. 3 it plans to modify the route of the pipeline, an offer which hasn’t satisfied campaigners. Protesters blocked workers from returning to the site of the proposed terminal on Sept. 26.

“The Irish government are now actively engaged on the side of Shell against the local people who will not risk the safety of their families for a project that has little if any financial benefit for the Irish people,” Mark Garavan, a spokesman for the opponents, said in an e-mailed statement. “This is serious escalation of the dispute.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dara Doyle in Dublin at [email protected]

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1 Comment on “Bloomberg: Shell Resumes Work at Irish Terminal as Protestors are Removed”

  1. #1 Leeanne Macklin
    on Oct 3rd, 2006 at 05:59

    I live in the Glasgow area of Scotland and have experienced first hand the devastating effects of gas explotions in my local area, resulting in many deaths and people left permanently disabled in wheelchairs etc. I feel it is irresponsible of the Irish government to support shells construction of corrib gas terminal and pipeline which will transport unprocessed gas, through what is one of the worlds most beautiful unspoilt landscapes. This is obviously of great financial benefit to the Irish government and the health and safety of the local people is being utterly disregarded.

    Regards Leeanne Macklin

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