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June 2010

Court overturns finding of contempt against Shell over Corrib gas route

Mary Carolan - Irish Times

THE HIGH Court has overturned a finding that Shell EP Ireland acted in contempt of court orders two years ago when it went on to commonage lands located on the modified route for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline.

The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, yesterday ruled that a November 2007 order of District Judge Mary Devins restraining entry on to the commonage unless in accordance with the Gas Act 1976 did not prevent Shell entering on to the commonage after acquiring a 1/62nd share of that land.

Largest round of oil, gas licensing

Laura Slattery & Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

THE LARGEST round of oil and gas exploration licences to date has been announced by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR).

Minister of State for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan said the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round was designed to boost the level of exploration investment off the Irish coast.

The process opens up Ireland’s entire Atlantic seabed for exploration, with the exception of existing licensed areas, rather than specific basins or blocks.

Rules changed to promote hunt for oil and gas

Thomas Molloy - Irish Independent

[Shell to Sea] Please be advised that the Irish Independent is controlled by Tony O Reilly, who also owns oil & gas exploration company Providence Resources.

THE Government has changed rules for exploration companies hunting for oil and gas in Irish waters to encourage new operators to search off the Irish coast.

The rules will open up a much larger area to exploration and give companies two years to decide whether they want to drill once they have started looking for oil.

Gormley approves Shell plan for investigative drilling in Mayo

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

THE MINISTER for the Environment has approved an application by Shell EP Ireland to undertake investigative work in north Mayo’s Sruwaddacon estuary for its proposed new pipeline route.

John Gormley has signed off on a foreshore licence application for the geotechnical work, which would involve drilling up to 80 boreholes in a candidate special area of conservation (SAC).

His department received almost 200 objections to the application, which was applied for by the Corrib gas developers earlier this year.

US oil firms 'unprepared' for major offshore disaster

BBC News

Major oil firms drilling off the US coastline are as unprepared as BP for a large-scale spill, the head of a Congressional panel has said.

Edward Markey told the House energy and commerce sub-committee Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell all have identical response plans to BP.

BP's US chief Lamar McKay and four other oil bosses gave evidence amid accusations BP took shortcuts.

High Court reserves judgment on Shell ‘contempt’ ruling

Áine Ryan - Mayo News

THE HIGH Court last week reserved judgment as to whether Judge Mary Devins was correct to find Shell in contempt of a court order, issued in November 2007, when its agents entered Rossport commonage on a number of occasions the following year (2008) to carry out investigations.
President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns reserved his decision on the legal issues put before the court by Judge Devins, after Shell counsel challenged her ‘technical contempt’ judgment, made in September last.

Lenihan 'in the dark' about effects of oil and gas exploration

News Release - Issued by Dublin Shell to Sea - Monday, June 14th, 2010
Dublin Shell to Sea has accused Minister of State Conor Lenihan of being “totally in the dark” about the effects of oil and gas exploration in Ireland following remarks he made today [Mon 14 June] while on the Kinsale gas platform.
Spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins said: “When Mr Lenihan says that finding oil and gas in Irish waters is ‘a good news story for Ireland, for the Exchequer,’ he seems to be confusing ‘good news’ with ‘extremely bad news’.”
“All gas and oil finds currently under exploration in Irish waters will represent a net loss to the Irish exchequer of many hundreds of billions of euro, thanks to notorious changes to the law made by Mr Lenihan’s predecessors, Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern, in the 1980s and 1990s.”

More oversight for oil, gas drilling

Jason Michael - Irish Times

Minister of State for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan today announced new measures to increase oversight of oil and gas drilling in Irish waters in the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Minister, who today visited the Kinsale gas platform off Co Cork, said he wanted to see conditions on rigs operating in the State's waters following the BP leak.

Shell plans to drill well near site of Corrib gas

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

SHELL EP Ireland plans to drill a satellite well north of the Corrib gas field which could produce additional gas reserves.

The Sedco 711-submersible rig arrived on location some 80km off the Mayo coast last week and has been booked for the summer.

Seismic information gathered last year on the Corrib North block has proved to be “very positive”, according to industry sources.

If the field proves commercial, it could result in a significant extension of the Corrib offshore and onshore infrastructure, subject to Government approval.

Foreshore licence granted for estuary survey work

Stop Shell - Indymedia

Update on foreshore licence, CAOs and pipeline application

The foreshore licence for bore holes in Sruth Fhada Chonn estuary has been
granted by the Minister for Environment, John Gormley. This means that Shell have
permission to make up to 80 bore holes in the estuary and work will begin shortly. This is an EU Special Area of Conservation and Special Protected Area.