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Shell in pipeline talks with fishing group

IRISH TIMES

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shell in pipeline talks with fishing group

LORNA SIGGINS, Marine CorrespondentSHELL E&P Ireland has confirmed that “confidential” discussions are taking place with local Mayo fishermen on the company’s plans to start laying the offshore pipeline for the Corrib gas project.

One of the world’s largest deepwater pipelaying vessels, Solitaire , has been loading pipe sections on board in Killybegs, Co Donegal, where the material has been in storage for several years.

Work is due to start shortly, depending on weather, although An Bord Pleanála has not yet approved the modified onshore route. The company has also been preparing the landfall at Glengad, using a private security firm.

The dialogue between Shell and the Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association focuses on two areas: the discharge pipe from the refinery and its outfall diffuser, and working arrangements for the fishermen during this summer’s offshore pipelaying.

“No agreement can be finalised until the twin issues have been resolved,” Shell said yesterday

Shell says that the discharge pipe’s diffuser has been licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The fishermen’s association, which opposed the company’s application at an EPA hearing, maintains that the discharge, 12km from shore, will cause pollution in Broadhaven Bay and inshore waters.

At Shell’s invitation, it has suggested an alternative location for the discharge pipe 20km west of Eagle Island.

Shell would not comment on criticism of the offshore pipelaying plans by the leader of the federation of Norwegian energy trade unions, Terje Nustad of Safe.

In an article on the union’s website Mr Nustad said that Shell’s deployment of “the world’s largest pipeline vessel” was a “provocation”.

© 2008 The Irish Times

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0806/1217923985225.html

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