Ireland

Political situation

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy with a president. The current government is a coalition government between the centre-right Fine Gael and the Labour Party. On the whole the government is completely preoccupied with the economy and meeting its commitments under the EU-IMF bailout program.
Governments position– political parties – individual politicians:

  • The Government does not appear to have an official position on hydraulic fracturing in Ireland
  • The Government is awaiting the outcome of the EPA report, which has yet to be commissioned.
  • Sinn Féin and the Socialist party are opposed to fracking
  • A few individual politicians (Councilors/TD’s/MEP’s) from Fianna Fáil, Independent, are opposed to fracking
  • The counties in the licensed area VOTED for a ban or a moratorium (NOT implemented) -> Ban: Counties Clare, Roscommon, Sligo, Donegal, Cavan. Moratorium: Co. Leitrim (Between Nov 2011 and Jan 2012)
  • Three Counties (Co. Clare, Co. Sligo and Co. Donegal) voted to amend their development plans. None of these motions have been implemented yet.
  • NI Assembly voted for a moratorium (August 2011)

Option licenses issued to:

  • Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd 1 Australian Company
    • North West Carboniferous Basin
    • 986 sq km
    • License period (1 March 2011 – 28 Feb. 2013)
  • LANGCO ltd – (Lough Allen National Gas Company, Irish Company)
    • North West Carboniferous Basin
    • 467 sq km
    • License period (1 March 2011 – 28 Feb. 2013)
  • Enegi Oil plc UK Company
    • Clare Basin
    • 495 sq km
    • License period (1 March 2011 – 28 Feb. 2013)

Remarks: All companies held an option license valid for 24 months.

Ireland’s give away:

The Government receives 25% of royalty only on net profits. Set-up and operational costs are tax deductible. It is estimated that the royalties after the deductions will be 7% (source Shell to Sea).

Shale Gas activities

Active Companies – option licenses:

  • Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd: Australian Company active in Co. Fermanagh (NI), Co.Leitrim, Co. Sligo and Co.Cavan
  • Enegi Oil plc: UK company, active in Co. Clare

Amount of know resources:

  • North West Carboniferous:
    • Value: Source Tamboran: (the data are questionable, they are very old)
      -> 4.4 trillion cubic feet NI and ROI together
      -> 2.2 trillion cubic feet in NI and 2.2 trillion cubic feet in ROI
    • Source: Irish Times -> Shale gas worth $ 55 bn, this should be $ 5.5 bn.
    • Source: Independent.ie -> Shale gas value of € 7 bn
  • Clare Basin
    • Coverage: 495 sq km = 122.317 acres
    • Wells: 12 were drilled between 1960 and 2000
    • Co. Leitrim: Thur Mountain, MacNean, Dowra, Drumkeeran
    • Co. Clare: Doonbeg, drilled to a depth of 3353 m. Organic garbon from 792 –1052 m. Organic rich potential hot shale 150 m thick (Source: Enegi Oil website)
  • Level op development of SG industry
    • Tamboran and Enegi Oil: field studies and desktop studies.

    Note:

  • Tamboran recently gave € 20.000 to the Manorhamilton Business Forum
  • Various SAC (Special Area of Conservation) are close to the proposed fracking areas.

Level of mobilisation

Number of groups:

  • We have groups, networks and individuals. From Belfast to Cork.
  • NI – approx. 3, ROI – approx. 20
  • No Fracking Ireland facebook and Fracking Ireland google groups
  • Environmental Pillar: An association of a number (27) of environmental groups working together. They have a policy on shale gas, shale oil, coal bed methane and fracking
    What we have done so far:
    • raising awareness: public meetings, handing out leaflets etc
    • guest speakers invited
    • family days organised
    • letters to politicians, submissions written
    • poster, logos designed
    • grass root gathering
    • guaranteed fracking free campaign launched:
      ’to celebrate and promote Ireland’s present fracking-free status.
      Ireland’s clean environment and “green” image are priceless assets for Irish businesses, especially in the tourism and agri-food sectors. We are proud of the Irish beef, baby formula, heritage, unspoiled landscape. Our beef is ‘free range’!

What do we have achieved? – What has to be done?

  • We have succeeded in raising awareness in the North West in the option licensed area’s and the majority of the people is against it.
  • Tamboran’s CEO Richard Moorman recently stepped down
  • Tamboran had to put on hold plans to hire at least 10 people in Leitrim this year as it awaits the Government latest report (EPA, not commissioned yet)
  • The people in Dublin need to know that fracking could affect them.
  • The risk of contamination of the Shannon and Dublin’s drinking water (in future) is important. Also the reputation of the country and its effects on tourism and agri-business (Irish beef and infant formula).
  • Raising awareness by presentations in the wider area: Sligo South, Clare, Dublin, Athlone, Castlebar

Update on activities in the nearby future:

Presentations in the wider area: Sligo South, Clare, Dublin, Athlone, Castlebar

Planning:

  • Seminar “Beyond Fossil Fuels – a coming reality or prevented by ‘transition’ energy sources?”
    Raising awareness of climate change – Informing people about sustainable energy sources – Examining so-called “transition fuels – Making recommendations for practical measures for communities to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • International guests speaker in early March
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Posted in Reports, Reports Europe

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