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New twist in Corrib saga as 800m of ducting is found floating in Atlantic

By: 
Keith Bourke & Orla Hearns - Western People

LONG-TIME Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington has described the incident whereby plastic ducting associated with the long-running Corrib gas  project was found floating in Broadhaven Bay last Friday as "farcical".

Shell E& P Ireland Ltd – the developers of the Corrib gas pipeline and terminal at Bellanaboy -– has stressed that there is no evidence to suggest that the ducting was broken or damaged in any way. The ducting is used to discharge treated surface water from the Bellanaboy terminal in accordance with its licence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) "This has no impact on the gas pipeline. That is completely separate," the spokesperson stressed.

An 800m long section of the ducting, which in its totality extends some 10-12 miles out to open sea, appears to have become dislodged from the sea bed where it had been anchored in place with boulders since 2009. It is thought that recent stormy weather may have resulted in this section rising from the sea bed.

The Shell spokesperson told the Western People that the incident had been reported to the EPA and that Shell’s offshore team has been assessing the situation over the weekend. Marine support vessels have been mobilised to the location and remediation works, which have been ongoing since the matter was reported by local fishermen last Friday, are expected to continue into the week.

Shell E&P Ltd says it has been liaising with various fishing and community groups in relation to the incident and will continue to do so.

But Maura Harrington is less than impressed. She told the Western People: "'While this floating pipe episode is farcical, there is nothing funny about the sloppiness, lack of competence and complete ineptitude which has characterised the Shell/ Corrib project from its inception to the present – after 15 years, this can only be called a failed venture."

Posted Date: 
19 March 2015