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Corrib gas firm gets €125m as costs rise

Gordon Deegan - Irish Examiner

 Shell Ireland has received a fresh cash injection of €125m from its parent to deal with the spiralling costs of the Corrib gas field project.

Documents filed with the Companies Registration Office confirm the additional monies as Shell Ireland confirmed yesterday that the current work on the 5km on-shore subterranean gas pipeline will take 15 months to complete. 

The Corrib gas partners, Shell, Statoil and Canadian-owned Vermilion are now 10 years behind the initial target to start generating revenues from the field, with Shell expecting gas to finally flow in late 2014-early 2015. 

Gas was originally expected to flow from the Mayo field in 2003, resulting in the project likely to be 12 years behind the original schedule, and the outlay on developing the field could be four times the initial estimate of €800m at over €3bn.

The documents confirming the cash injection show that the Shell E&P Ireland’s Ltd’s authorised capital now tops €879m. 

A spokeswoman for Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL) said yesterday: “The €125m is to support Shell E&P Ireland Limited’s ongoing activities in Ireland.” 

She said: “2013 will be a busy year on the Corrib gas project. Tunnelling work commenced in recent weeks and is progressing well. It is expected to take approximately 15 months to complete.” 

SEPIL has confirmed that €250m was spent on the project last year with the same sum due to be spent by the partners in 2013. 

At the end of December 2011, the total amount spent on the project amounted to €2.43bn and by the end of December this year the outlay on the project will be €2.93bn. 

She said: “There are approximately 900 people employed on the project at present. This number is expected to rise to over 1,000 in the coming months as the new work scopes, onshore and offshore, open up.” 

Shell has a 45% share in the field with its two partners, Statoil having a 36.5% share and Canadian-owned Vermilion owning the remaining 18.5% share. 

The field has one trillion cubic feet of gas and is expected to meet 75% of Ireland’s peak winter gas needs for up to a decade.

Posted Date: 
23 January 2013