Economic concerns trump green issues in case for new gas field

A proposed gas field in County Mayo, which has previously been opposed by environmental groups, is vital if Irish businesses and households are to benefit from affordable energy in the future, it has been argued.

Plans to bring the CORRIB gas field onshore to a terminal at Bellanaboy were originally submitted back in 2005 but were put on hold as residents and third-party green groups highlighted the environmental dangers of the pipeline route through sensitive bog pools in the Rossport area.

However, recent developments in the global energy markets have prompted Chambers Ireland development chief David Bourke to step up support for the new gas field, arguing that such a development would be ‘vital’ to the country’s energy security at a time when it imports as much as 90% of its total gas supplies.

“This latest dispute between Russia and Ukraine further highlights the economic risks and heightens the important role that the Corrib project will play in reducing Ireland’s dependence on energy imports over the next 20 years,” he said.

Furthermore, Mr Bourke claimed that as many as 130 jobs could be created through expanding the existing operations, the Irish Times has reported.

Shell, Statoil and Marathon are all partners in the CORRIB project, which is estimated to be viable for as long as 20 years.

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