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Shell seeks tenders for onshore pipeline to service gas field

By: 
Barry O Halloran - Irish Times

OIL EXPLORATION company Shell is seeking tenders for the design and construction of an underground onshore pipeline to service the Corrib natural gas field.

The multinational is considering housing a 5km onshore pipe that will convey the gas from its landfall to a terminal in a tunnel running through Sruwaddacon Bay, Co Mayo, according to a notice published in the official journal of the EU and on the Government’s e-tenders website.

It is seeking tenders from companies to design and build the tunnel, pipeline and accompanying services.

However, Shell told The Irish Times yesterday that this option is one of a number under consideration, and the fact that it is tendering for the service does not mean that it will ultimately follow this route.

The company earlier said in a statement: “We are currently investigating the design of a section of the onshore pipeline through Sruwaddacon Bay with a view to addressing, as fully as possible, all matters raised by An Bord Pleanála in its request for further information.”

The Corrib gas field lies about 80km off the Mayo coast, and contains enough gas to supply Ireland’s projected demand for at least a decade.

Shell and Norwegian state company Statoil are partners in the project. They plan to pipe the gas to the Mayo coast and from there to a terminal about 5km inland, for processing.

Planning rows and controversy have been a feature of the field’s development.

All companies involved in oil and gas extraction and in activities such as mining have to publish tender notices for large projects in the EU journal to allow businesses across the union to compete for the work.

Shell’s notice requires that companies which apply for the work at Sruwaddacon Bay should have turnovers of at least €100 million a year. Such requirements are a routine feature of tender notices.

The contracting companies will determine the final cost of the work. Shell’s notice gives no indication of the project’s value.