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Prominent Shell to Sea activist to oversee Corrib project

category national | environment | feature author Saturday June 16, 2007 21:30author by William Hederman Report this post to the editors

Years of campaigning by Ryan culminates in Natural Resources ministry

featured image
Eamonn Ryan TD, protesting outside Dáil Éireann

Following several years of campaigning with the Shell to Sea campaign, Green Party TD Eamonn Ryan has been appointed to the ministry with responsibility for the Corrib Gas project in Co Mayo.

On Thursday (June 14th), Taoiseach Bertie Ahern appointed Ryan to the new portfolio of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, where his brief will include overseeing the controversial Corrib Gas project. Ryan's fellow Shell to Sea campaigners will be watching with interest to see how he proceeds with Corrib. At their conference in February 2007, the Green Party adopted a resolution that, in government, it would not sign a pipeline consent for the Corrib gas project until “a full, independent review” had been conducted into the project.

Related Links: An Comhaontas Glás | Shell To Sea | Rossport Solidarity Camp | Indymedia report on protest at Shell HQ in Dublin attended by Trevor Sargent (February 17th, 2006)

Ryan's Shell to Sea colleagues may not be encouraged by the early signs. On the morning (Thursday) before his ministerial appointment, Eamon Ryan was a guest on the Today with Pat Kenny radio show (with stand-in presenter Tom McGurk). A listener asked whether the Greens would adhere to this resolution. Ryan replied that the party's negotiators had not succeeded in getting the full, independent review of Corrib into the programme for government worked out with Fianna Fail.

Here is his response in full: "The first and primary thing is that there has to be an EPA approval in terms of the licensing there – the project requires that. Also, the whole consent process for the, I think, eight alternative pipeline routes has to be gone through and that will be what we have to process. I don’t believe, or we weren’t able to agree, the possibility of such a widespread review of the whole project, but I think what we will try and do is ensure that the process and the licensing and consent process goes through in as open and as consultative a manner as is possible."


Green Party leader Trevor Sargent has been another prominent Shell to Sea campaigner. On October 24th, 2006, he took part in the pre-dawn protest at the site of Shell's proposed inland refinery at Bellanaboy, accompanied by the Green Party Mayor of Galway, Niall Ó Brolcháin. They both made speeches at the refinery gates.

A month later Sargent took part in a Shell to Sea press conference in Dublin, where he said his party "supports the call for an independent commission as proposed by the Shell to Sea campaign". He blamed the controversy on "the giveaway deals for exploration licences" which he said were "comparable, in historic terms, with the Act of Union of 1800, in the way a dodgy deal can be made to look legitimate."

In late 2006, a meeting of the National Council of the Green Party passed a policy calling for “the 1992 terms governing oil and gas exploration in Ireland's waters to be redrafted to give the State more security of hydrocarbon supply and a revenue/royalty percentage from such finds.”

A message on the Green Party website in December 2005 stated that the party was urging "all members of the Green Party ... to support and join the Shell to Sea Campaign", and was "pressing for the gas to be refined at sea ... We must continue our efforts in support of this campaign which has every chance of success."

The record shows that over the past two years Eamon Ryan has been diligent in his research into the Corrib Gas issue and in raising concerns at a national level. Speaking in Dáil Éireann on November 24th, 2005, Eamon Ryan raised the question of the perceived independence of An Bord Pleanála: "When An Bord Pleanála made its decision on the first planning application for a gas terminal building in Bellanaboy, the inspector came to the conclusion that the application was for the wrong site from a strategic planning perspective. The inspector said in his report that the site chosen by the company in question was the wrong one when considered in the context of the Government's policy of fostering balanced regional development, from the perspective of minimising environmental impact and in the interests of sustainable development. More alarmingly, the inspector said he was under the impression that the granting of planning permission in this instance was a fait accompli. He concluded that the proposed site was unequivocally an incorrect choice."

"Anyone who examines from the outside the process that led to a decision being made on the appeal in this instance would agree that it was not conducted in an open and fair manner. ... I have serious concerns that the Government constantly took Shell's side, in effect, throughout this process. ... I contend that he [Taoiseach Bertie Ahern] put remarkable and untold pressure on An Bord Pleanála to accept the Government's will and to do the right thing in this case."

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com

Same protest as above
Same protest as above

Trevor Sargent protests at Shell HQ in Dublin on February 17th, 2006
Trevor Sargent protests at Shell HQ in Dublin on February 17th, 2006

Trevor Sargent with Philip McGrath of the Rossport Five at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006
Trevor Sargent with Philip McGrath of the Rossport Five at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006

Trevor Sargent and Niall Ó Brolcháin (right) at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006
Trevor Sargent and Niall Ó Brolcháin (right) at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006

author by William Hedermanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:02Report this post to the editors

.

Trevor Sargent at the Shell to Sea HQ trailer at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006
Trevor Sargent at the Shell to Sea HQ trailer at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006

Trevor Sargent with fisherman Pat O'Donnell at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006
Trevor Sargent with fisherman Pat O'Donnell at Bellanaboy on October 24th, 2006

Trevor Sargent at a Shell to Sea press conference at the Earl of Kildare hotel in Dublin on November 21st, 2006
Trevor Sargent at a Shell to Sea press conference at the Earl of Kildare hotel in Dublin on November 21st, 2006

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by William Hedermanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:06Report this post to the editors

Below is an edited transcript of Trevor Sargent's speech at the November 2006 press conference, followed by a selection of excerpts from the Green Party website and the Dáil records.

**********

Trevor Sargent
Speaking at a Shell to Sea press conference, Earl of Kildare Hotel, Dublin
21 November, 2006


We welcome the Shell to Sea proposal for an independent commission, which I regard as an indication of sincere, genuine commitment to bring about a resolution which will end the very, very bitter and intractable dispute which continues to show the worst signs of law and order. The witnessing of the demonstration that took place [on November 10th] indicated to me that the government has to ask itself how we have come to this point where gardai are engaged in activities which themselves need investigation. It is a disgrace for people to be manhandled and beaten in the way that the community has been in that area.

The root cause of this problem goes right back to the way in which the giveaway deals were done for exploration licences and it is comparable, in historic terms, with the Act of Union of 1800, in the way a dodgy deal can be made to look legitimate. I think that in itself needs to be part of the investigation, and certainly should be cause for reflection by the Irish people on who it is they elect to represent them.

I certainly feel that a number of ministers, going right back to Ray Burke, needs to be investigated... More recently Frank Fahey ... would have to answer questions as to how he could explain giving permission on the basis of a foreshore licence to a site that is so far inland. It beggars belief that that would stand up in any reasonable debate, never mind a court of law.

I would think that fundamentally we have to move towards some recognition that Shell have benefitted from dodgy dealing; and Shell in its own right, if it is to have any credibility in its international dealings, needs to recognise that it has to come away from the defence that it holds up that the government has overseen this and legitimised it. It is undoubtedly the case that it is a dodgy arrangement.

The Green Party supports the call for an independent commission as proposed by the Shell to Sea Campaign and we hope that it will be a step in the direction of resolving this dispute.

**********

Trevor Sargent
October 24th, 2006
Speaking at the gates of Shell's proposed refinery site at Bellanaboy


This highlights the complete failure of Government to govern on behalf of the people. When a mediation process is entered into on behalf of the community in good faith by the community and the outcome was not ideal from the community's point of view, but still it was an outcome that was clear enough and even then it has been ignored in practice by Shell and the government still sits back and says Shell must have its way. Now, that is infuriating and Minister Noel Dempsey has really abdicated his responsibility not to act on behalf of Shell but to act on behalf of the people as a whole.

**********

Green Party calls for new terms on exploration rights for Irish gas and oil
12 December 2006
Statement by Green Party endorsed NUI Senate candidate


The Green Party has called for the terms of the exploration rights of gas and oil off the Irish coast to be redrafted. The Party passed a policy calling for new terms at a recent meeting of its National Council.

Candidate M.H. said: “While the Government and the main opposition parties continue to avoid discussion on the unbelievable decision, which began under the ministry of Ray Burke in the late eighties, to give away Ireland's offshore oil and gas reserves without any royalties to the Irish State, the Green Party has taken a decision to try and reverse this.

“Our policy calls for the 1992 terms governing oil and gas exploration in Ireland's waters to be redrafted to give the State more security of hydrocarbon supply and a revenue/royalty percentage from such finds.”

The Green party also called for the terms of those deals made since 1992 to be renegotiated for the benefit of the Irish people based on a cost/benefit analysis on the value to the economy. This would include the controversial Corrib basin deal with Shell, Statoil and Marathon oil.

**********

The great oil and gas giveaway
Issued: 24 July 2006
Statement by Tony McDermott


The Green Party says the Government intends to give away its natural gas supply without reaping the benefits for the Irish consumer. At a time when gas prices are set to rise by over a third, the Party says consumers are left to foot the cost while indigenous sources are sold for almost nothing to foreign oil companies.

At a public lecture entitled 'The Great Oil and Gas Giveaway' in Griffith College this evening, Green Party Councillor and Dublin South Central General Election candidate Tony McDermott said: "I call on the Government to act immediately to renegotiate its disastrous current arrangement that sees Ireland's natural resources being given away without any real benefit to the Irish economy or people. Gas prices are rising in Ireland and the best our Government can do is sit idly by while our indigenous gas supplies are taken by foreign companies gratis and sold back to the Irish at market."

Cllr McDermott, who sponsored the lecture, called on the Government to ensure all activities on the part of Shell, Statoil and Marathon Oil ceased at the Corrib gas field site in Mayo until the local community's concerns were fully assessed and addressed.

**********

May 4th, 2006
Trevor Sargent speaking in Dáil Éireann


Mr Sargent: I have visited the area and the home of Ms Mary Corduff and other families, while Mr. Willie Corduff and the other four men from Rossport were in prison. ... I also visited the site of the treatment plant in Ballinaboy. Strangely, that plant was refused planning permission in April 2003 but, following a meeting between the Taoiseach and executives of the consortium, was granted permission in October 2004.

Before we go any further on this we need another report into the behaviour of Fianna Fáil, with particular reference to Ray Burke, in its role as oil company agent. Deputy [Frank] Fahey also needs to answer a few questions. There is no doubt that the people of Mayo will not let this rest. When one sees the arrangements made one must ask what is in it for the people. The answer is little other than that we pay whatever Shell demands in terms of price, which will continue to rise as the market gives it the ability to rise.

The Advantica report makes recommendations and highlights the fact that the Government does not have a risk-based framework for decisions on proposed and existing major hazard pipelines and lacks the transparency and consistency of a decision-making process. That is a nice way of stating that the Government has been shown up by this process as not being able to ensure fair governance and act in the interests of the people. That must be addressed before we can go any further.

The Minister is in awe of the oil industry...

May 4th, 2006
Dan Boyle (Green Party) speaking in Dáil Éireann


When one considers the options available for refining in terms of the Corrib gas field, such as offshore, directly onshore or inshore, the fact that the State constantly promotes, at the behest of the company involved, the least environmentally friendly of those three options, a facility many miles inshore, shows this Government either does not know what it is doing or does not care, which is a more damning indictment.

**********

December 2005
Message on Green Party website
Support Shell to Sea Campaign


All members of the Green Party are urged to support and join the Shell to Sea Campaign which campaigns against the proposed Shell gas refinery in the Erris region of Co. Mayo and is pressing for the gas to be refined at sea. The campaign website can be found at www.corribsos.com, and the petition is at www.petitionspot.com/petitions/shelltosea
The Green Party TDs and members have been very active in opposing Shell's Corrib Gas project and supported the Rossport 5 in their courageous stand against the company. We must continue our efforts in support of this campaign which has every chance of success.

**********

Corrib gas pipeline will have to be redesigned on foot of Advantica report
08 December 2005


The Green Party today called for a redesign of the Corrib gas pipeline on foot of concerns raised in the Advantica report about the pressure control systems for the pipeline.
Green Party Energy spokesperson Eamon Ryan TD said today that, “I welcome the publication of the draft safety review of the Corrib pipeline report by Advantica Ltd and look forward to making a submission to the Company in response.
“While Shell and the Government will no doubt spin that the report comes out in their favour, it is clear that a major redesign of the pipeline should now take place. The recommendation that the pipeline should be built to a much stricter design code, suitable for a pipeline running through a suburban area, will surely mean that the whole pipeline design will have to be reviewed.
“This new standard requires that the maximum possible pressure in the pipeline be 144 bar as against 345 bar as at present. However, the report also says that the documents showing the reliability of the pressure control systems in the current design are technically flawed. As such Shell is going to have to go back to the drawing board to design additional control measures.
“The report also confirms the inept manner in which the Government has handled this project from the start. If their recommendation for a proper risk-based framework for decisions on such major infrastuctural projects had been in place to begin with, then this whole contentious issue would never have arisen.
“The further call by Advantica for an independent audit and inspection of the construction and operation phase of the pipeline, shows that the Government has been more interested in getting this project completed as quickly as possible rather than putting in placethe control mechanisms that would properly protect the public interest,” concluded Deputy Ryan.

**********

24 November 2005
Eamon Ryan speaking in Dáil Éireann


"I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this important issue, which relates to the perceived independence of a State body, An Bord Pleanála. It is vital, in the interests of proper planning and political support for the planning process, that An Bord Pleanála should be independent.

The Minister, Deputy Roche, is aware that when An Bord Pleanála made its decision on the first planning application for a gas terminal building in Bellanaboy, the inspector came to the conclusion that the application was for the wrong site from a strategic planning perspective. The inspector said in his report that the site chosen by the company in question was the wrong one when considered in the context of the Government's policy of fostering balanced regional development, from the perspective of minimising environmental impact and in the interests of sustainable development. More alarmingly, the inspector said he was under the impression that the granting of planning permission in this instance was a fait accompli. He concluded that the proposed site was unequivocally an incorrect choice.

It is remarkable that, according to briefing documents from a meeting five months later between the Taoiseach and Shell, the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources acted as a bag-carrier or messenger for the development company in question. The briefing document contains expressions of concern about An Bord Pleanála's lack of understanding of many aspects of the projects and the petroleum sector. It refers to the fact that the company in question had lost money as a consequence of the delays caused by An Bord Pleanála's decision. It highlights the serious reservations of the company, Enterprise Energy Ireland, about An Bord Pleanála's decision and states that were are no alternatives to the Corrib gas field.

I would like to know what role, if any, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government played in asking An Bord Pleanála to give assurances that any further appeal decision would be considered with absolute urgency. The Department was able to present a memo at the meeting between the Taoiseach and representatives of Shell, stating that An Bord Pleanála had given a commitment to treat the appeal with utmost priority and to deliver a decision within 18 weeks, as statutorily required. I want the full details in this regard because it is vital that the planning process should be conducted in an open and fair manner. Anyone who examines from the outside the process that led to a decision being made on the appeal in this instance would agree that it was not conducted in an open and fair manner. The appellants, including those who represented the Green Party in the appeals process, did not have the same level of access to An Bord Pleanála as the developer, which was able to make a presentation on the wonderful work it was doing.

I have serious concerns that the Government constantly took Shell's side, in effect, throughout this process. The Taoiseach downgraded the role of An Bord Pleanála by proposing to introduce a critical infrastructure Bill. He continually expressed his support for the project in this forum and elsewhere. While such evidence is circumstantial - the Taoiseach is entitled to act on behalf of Shell - I contend that he put remarkable and untold pressure on An Bord Pleanála to accept the Government's will and to do the right thing in this case. It is to be deeply regretted that such actions have been bad for the long-term position of An Bord Pleanála as a credible and independent body. I am keen for the Minister to provide as many details as possible about this sorry process.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by William Hedermanpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 13:39Report this post to the editors

Ireland's Offshore Oil & Gas

The campaign of the Rossport community of West Mayo oppposing the laying of a pipeline against their wishes and their desire to have the gas from the Corrib basin processed safely offshore has received much attention over the last two years.

This campaign captured the minds of the public when five local men served over 3 months in prison by refusing to commit to the court that they would stand idly by while an unsafe pipeline was laid near their homes and community. The handling of this campaign by the State highlights a number of disturbing issues. Primarily, that the concerns of the citizens of a village of this nation were completely ignored in an attempt by Shell and Statoil, backed by the Government, to bully a small community into submission.

The attitude seems to prevail on the part of many in the Government that Ireland is still some form of banana republic who should go cap in hand to any big company who wants to locate here and that any community or group who stands in the way of this must be dealt with harshly and quickly.

In many ways, Shell and Statoil (as the two largest shareholders in the Corrib basin consortium) have borne the brunt of a national campaign that has developed in support of the Rossport community. Although unquestionably heavy handed, Shell and Statoil acted in many ways as any oil companies would have done acting on the deal they were given.

The real blame for this mess lies with the Irish government. Between 1988 and 1992, Fianna Fáil ministers drew up a so called "deal" that gave oil companies the right to extract oil and gas from Irish territory without paying a single cent in royalties and, under a taxation incentive, that allows the companies to write off their entire production bill against tax liability. It is the most favourable deal ever negotiated for the oil and gas industry anywhere in the developed or developing world.

The Government has argued that this was done to ensure jobs and safeguard supplies, but there are only a handful of Irish jobs being created and the Government does not even have first option to buy our own gas, given away for free, at market value.

It was the resistance of the Rossport community that helped heighten awareness of this unbelievable give away that sees billions of Euro of gas (at a time of spiralling gas prices) go to foreign companies without any benefit to Ireland. It is particularly bitter as Statoil, which is 75% owned by the Norwegian people, contributed so much to the provision of the social and transport infrastructure of that country.

It is hard to believe that the terms of this "arrangement" are still in place, and the minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources gave away another massive gas field off the coast of Donegal as recently as last summer. This field holds billions of Euro worth of gas.

This situation has to be addressed, the concerns of the people of Rossport fully heard and the terms by which hydrocarbons are extracted from Irish territory renegotiated to give some revenue to the Irish state.

dread.png

author by cowleys ghostpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 19:35Report this post to the editors

Ryan's Shell to Sea colleagues may not be encouraged by the early signs. On the morning (Thursday) before his ministerial appointment, Eamon Ryan was a guest on the Today with Pat Kenny radio show (with stand-in presenter Tom McGurk). A listener asked whether the Greens would adhere to this resolution. Ryan replied that the party's negotiators had not succeeded in getting the full, independent review of Corrib into the programme for government worked out with Fianna Fail.

Here is his response in full: "The first and primary thing is that there has to be an EPA approval in terms of the licensing there – the project requires that. Also, the whole consent process for the, I think, eight alternative pipeline routes has to be gone through and that will be what we have to process. I don’t believe, or we weren’t able to agree, the possibility of such a widespread review of the whole project, but I think what we will try and do is ensure that the process and the licensing and consent process goes through in as open and as consultative a manner as is possible."

sounds like two fingers to S2S!

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 22:37Report this post to the editors

"I don’t believe, or we weren’t able to agree, the possibility of such a widespread review of the whole project, but I think what we will try and do is ensure that the process and the licensing and consent process goes through in as open and as consultative a manner as is possible."

The Greens have morphed seamlessly into practiced Fianna Fail liars. Gormley's shameless abdication of responsibility for Tara is sickening. Perhaps it was Gormley who was up that lampost in Dublin - nothing to tell the difference between him and McDowell now, is there?

author by m.m.mccarron - o.s.ipublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:39Report this post to the editors

Thanks for excellent contribution and the time it took to compile it. Adds to our education about the outcome of lobby in the political system. Disheartening at the moment.

author by Seamuspublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 13:40Report this post to the editors

Great piece you posted here. It is interesting to see the positions given to the Greens, both dealing with two of the major campaigning issues at the moment, M3 and the Corrib pipeline. Just putting the thought out there, and not trying to absolve responsibility at all, if people such as Ryan or Gormley get cabinet posts as they have, one of the many issues that must confront them is the need for diplomacy in the public domain in order to ensure that those opposed to their 'green' aims are not sidelined too early and therefore put the brakes on any possible plans to change things (whether the legals, business interests, other vested interests). Consequently, would it not be best to judge the Greens on their actions over the coming weeks, whether they establish reviews to check the legitimacy of past decisions for example , rather than their rhetoric (and its changes according to the context in which it is uttered), while all the time keeping up pressure on them, such as lobbying or refering to their statements/political rhetoric when in opposition, such as is supplied in this article? I would hope that the Greens were not so naive in taking up these two particular posts, considering the campaigns attached to them, and that much of their support base are connected to these campaigns - would it not be political suicide if they were merely to continue FF's agenda? But maybe I'm the naive one...

author by StripeyCatpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 20:47Report this post to the editors

I think the Greens are smart enough to be able to resolve the Corrib situation.

They will certainly find it uncomfortable standing over people going to prison for opposing the scheme,if that should have to happen, especially if some of those people attended their party conference.

The best thing is not to pre-judge any situation, and see how they do in office.

The fact that the party has been so vociferous in supporting Shell to Sea augers well for the campaign, in my opinion. Better to have Eamonn Ryan in charge than Noel Dempsey, who never saw fit to visit the area even once while minister in charge.

I'm sure Eamonn Ryan is planning a trip to Rossport in the near future.

Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com
author by mirasmapublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:11Report this post to the editors

People haven't been listening.

The GP wants a STAY on the project pending a full independent review. Presumably this review will deal with the safety and environmental aspects of the proposed project and how adverse effects (if any) would be avoided or minimized.

I would presume that any independent review will address these issues in the context of proportionality.

Unfortunately, the hard core of Shell to Sea protestors want to STOP the project. Period. Their aim, (particularly the tiny harder-core of politically-motivated protestors which dominates Indymedia comment), is to face down the government. It is their cause-celebre in a society which yet again has overwhelmingly and conclusively rejected their political analysis.

I would presume any new independent review will again give the go-ahead to the project on the basis that it is tried and tested technology and poses no real risk to health or life (One doesn't see bodies of gas-victims littered around Inch strand in East Cork - or in the towns where the gas is used by consumers and industry). A few cosmetic changes in the project might be recommended to make the pill more palatable. The new Minister will be stuck with his own independent review. And so he should be.

To give readers an idea of how stupid disproportionate and illogical the S2S thing has become (and has always been), consider: Every day through the towns and villages and along the (accident-ridden) roads of Ireland, Shell, Statoil, Exxon, etc., move huge consignments of toxic, explosive petrol in road-tankers. This toxic and explosive chemical brew is then transferred into tanks in fuel-stations in the middle of populated towns and villages nationwide. The brew is then transferred by totally untrained operators (the car-drivers) into their crash-prone vehicles. They then set off on their business (including driving fron Dublin to take part in S2S riots) with this toxic load. A major constituent of unleaded petrol is the vicious carcinogen, benzene. Everyone accepts the risk on the basis of a reasoned and contextual proportionality. And we are supposed to get in a fluff over a gas-drying and pumping facility in the middle of a remote bog?. On a scale of one to ten in carcinaginicity and toxicity natural gas is about 0 and petrol about 7. Petrol is also much more inflammable and explosive.

author by SCpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 17:31Report this post to the editors

Incorrect and unsubtantiated comment abounds on this subject. When Shell supporters find their arguments defeated, they often adopt the tactic of pretending the Shell to Sea campaign believes in things which they can then argue with, to their own advantage.

For instance:" Unfortunately, the hard core of Shell to Sea protestors want to STOP the project."

Have a look at the original demands of the Shell to Sea campaign, and see if you can see where it says that the Corrib scheme should be stopped forever:

* Stop all illegal development in Rossport

* To cease all operations in Erris, onshore and offshore, pending a full hearing of the issues

* Clean the gas and hydrocarbons at sea

* Vindicate the Rossport 5 and expunge their criminalisation by Shell

* Renegotiate the overall deal for the Irish people

* Make those responsible for the project accountable

You can't, because such an demand is not there.

The Shell to Sea campaign has no desire to stop the Corrib natural gas field from being developed.

Shell to Sea wants the gas to be brought to market in a safe, secure, environmentally friendly manner, which will leave a lasting benefit for the people of Ireland.

Shell want to exploit the gas in an unsafe, cheap way, which will save them money by puting local people at risk, and which will be of little or no benefit to the country.

author by pointpublication date Sun Jun 17, 2007 21:38Report this post to the editors

"For instance:" Unfortunately, the hard core of Shell to Sea protestors want to STOP the project."

that is a correct view of the S2S campaign, they want to stop this project, the project being the gas refinery/pipeline.

author by krossie - wsm (personal capacity)publication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:51Report this post to the editors

point: that is a correct view of the S2S campaign, they want to stop this project, the project being the gas refinery/pipeline.

There is no version or dialect of the English language were "move" equals "stop".

The demand is

* Clean the gas and hydrocarbons at sea

This does not equal "never clean the gass and hydrocarbons therefore never extract the gas"

A very good summary of the Shelltosea issues is to be found at the link below...

(note NOT the "stop the corrib gas field campaign")

http://www.mayogasinfo.com/summary.html

Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com/
author by mirasmapublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:37Report this post to the editors

The project is to build the gas drying and pumping station at a particular location. It is not a proposal to build the facility in Abu Dhabi, Timbuctoo, or somewher on the continental shelf off the West Coast.

The objective of the hard-core is to stop this project for political reasons. What's is their problem in admitting this? Why all the semantics? Just look at the grounds you have listed for objection. Most of them are political

If the objection is on scientific/technical grounds I would presume that the objectors would be prepared to accept the project if an independent scientific report clears the proposed facility and declares that there is no significant environmental or safety risk. This is and always has been the GP position.

The reality is that the hard core will always find pretexts for rejecting the project.

author by ckpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:51Report this post to the editors

"Just look at the grounds you have listed for objection. Most of them are political"

What are you talking about? Do you know?
Please tell us all which grounds you think are political.

author by localpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 13:12Report this post to the editors

The "project" is to exploit the natural gas in the Corrib field.

There is nothing in that to indicate that it must be done miles inland, by pumping the raw gas through a pipeline at high pressure through a community's land without their consent.

author by Red and Greenpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 14:51Report this post to the editors

“The objective of the hard-core is to stop this project for political reasons. What's is their problem in admitting this?” Who are “they”? The Reds under the bed? It's not the subversives you want to worry about it's the people who have been getting treated like crap for the past seven years.

“The reality is that the hard core will always find pretexts for rejecting the project” What you call pretexts other people call valid reasons.

I agree there are political reasons why someone would want to oppose the Corrib project as it stands. There are also political reasons for wanting it to go ahead unchallenged. Of course in your book arguments are only “political” or “hardcore” when they go against the dominant political ideas in society. Another thing that is “political” is who gets to decide what constitutes an “independent report”; if I recall correctly wasn’t the first independent report on the pipeline done by a company joint owned by Shell and BP?

As for the Green Party position you refer to it seems to have been: make as much capital as you can by supporting stuff like S2S, Anti-war etc while you’re in opposition and then fuck them off the minute you get a whiff of power.

author by PPpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 15:53Report this post to the editors

"As for the Green Party position you refer to it seems to have been: make as much capital as you can by supporting stuff like S2S, Anti-war etc while you’re in opposition and then fuck them off the minute you get a whiff of power."

We don't know yet what the Greens will do regarding the Corrib field. It would be be only reasonable to allow them to at least read into the brief before attacking them.

I'm hopeful that the Greens will show that they are capable of standing by their previous position. If they don't, and people are being put in prison for standing against the scheme, then things will get very uncomfortable for them. But it hasn't come to that yet, so let's give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment.

author by differentpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 18:08Report this post to the editors


"There is no version or dialect of the English language were "move" equals "stop"."

I don't know where some people get their English from but indymedia posters seem determined to twist it.
S2S wants this project stopped!
they want the refinery built at sea (totally different project "ask shell"), and no raw gas piped onshore (different project).

in English a project means =A plan or proposal http://www.thefreedictionary.com/project
S2S wants the present proposal to be stopped and replaced with another project, a offshore platform to refine the gas and where Ireland gets lots more money out of the gas find, and the discharges to sea and air will be much more harmful, because of space restrictions on the offshore platform meaning the emissions wont be treated to the same extent

author by Clark J. Hazardpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 19:32Report this post to the editors

I'd just like to ask one question of the collective.

If I haven't followed this story incorrectly Shell To Sea want the oil and gas cleaned and refined offshore.

Is there anywhere that this has been done before?

I imagine that this would be a very difficult job, and highly dangerous for the workers involved, particularly given the deep water and very rough seas off the west coast of Ireland.

I'd be interested to know if and where this has been achieved before.

Thanks,

Clark

author by Pynchonpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 19:52Report this post to the editors

"If I haven't followed this story incorrectly Shell To Sea want the oil and gas cleaned and refined offshore.

Is there anywhere that this has been done before?"

This is the way it is done everywhere else. No one has ever brought raw untreated gas so far onto land through a high pressure pipeline to refine it. People sometimes bring upp some Statoil developments which are onshore, but these are on islands off the coast, and not really comparable. Everywhere else, from the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, from Kinsale to, well, everywhere, natural gas is refined at sea and then pumped onshore.

The project as everyone but one or two internet rolls talk about it, is, once again, is to exploit the gas in the Corrib field.

Shell want to do this cheaply and in a way that is considered unsafe. Before the protests they wanted to use a 345 pressure pipeline, and said there was only one possible route to do so (through Rossport).

Since Shell to Sea got involved, they have changed their stance, and now say there are eight different possible routes, and the pipeline should only operate at 144 bar.

That took two years.

In the future, they will presumably discover that they CAN do it all offshore.

It takes protest to get Shell to move, but once you've got them going, who knows where they'll end up...

Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com
author by Dpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 20:42Report this post to the editors

"No one has ever brought raw untreated gas so far onto land through a high pressure pipeline to refine it." This is completely untrue, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of onshore gas processing plants around the world and ALL gas produced from onshore fields is processed in onshore plants. Furthermore, there are often dozens of pipelines bringing gas from wells around the gas field to a single gas processing plant.

"Before the protests they wanted to use a 345 pressure pipeline .... [Shell now says] the pipeline should only operate at 144 bar." It is clear from the published reports that the pipeline was only designed for 345 bar to cover the extremely unlikely event where the terminal is unable to accept gas and has to be shut in and, at the same time, the offshore wells failed to shut themsleves in or accept commands to shut in (if this ever happened it would have taken several days for the pressure to approach 345 bar) - the maximum operating pressure was always to be 144 bar.

author by Jackpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 21:10Report this post to the editors

for CJH (no, the other one)
Ignore the spin and do your own research.

http://www.publicinquiry.ie/

Related Link: http://www.publicinquiry.ie/
author by chemheadpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 21:15Report this post to the editors

There seems to be a misunderstanding among the Indymedia faithfull as to what the proposed Rossport facility will do.

The facility will not "refine" the gas in the sense that the word is used in the oil/chemical industry. There is a refinery in Whitegate, Co. Cork, just up the road from Inch Bay. An oil-refinery is a large chemical plant that breaks down the distillates that comprise crude-oil and then builds up the complex molecules that comprise fuels and feed-stocks for the plastics industry. The Rossport facility will merely dry the (mainly) methane natural gas by removing moisture and then pump it onwards into the existing gas-distribution system. The facility already in Inch Bay does exactly the same thing. It has been doing this for a number of decades without incident. Ask SIPTU, the Union that represents the Inch workers. The only difference between the Inch and Rossport facilities is that the latter will benefit from more than two decades of safety and environmental improvements. Mind you, when one talks of environmental issues in relation to natural-gas you are into angels dancing on the tip of needles territory. Natural gas comprises some of the least toxic chemicals commonly used in our society. (Someone has compared it to petrol elsewhere in this debate. Petrol is a really really nasty concoction, and strangely no one seems to have a problem with the petrol station just up the road from the Rossport site)

These facilities are land-based world-wide. Putting them on the sea-bed is engineering nonsense because they would suffer the maintenance and corrosion and weathering problems inherent in all marine facilities.

Sadly, one has to conclude that the protestors who argue that this facility should be based offshore are proposing a less safe and environmentally sound alternative. Let's face it, the protestors are only interested in the Rossport issue because it gives them an opportunity to throw rocks at the Gardai.

There are important social and environmental issues challenging our society. The environmental impact of the Rossport facility is not one of them.

author by funnypublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 21:26Report this post to the editors

"Ignore the spin and do your own research."
followed by a link to http://www.publicinquiry.ie/

now that is funny!
the report from publicinquiry.ie/
must be one of the most onsided reports I have ever read>

author by Cradlepublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 22:48Report this post to the editors

Let us pick just one example out.......

"Let's face it, the protestors are only interested in the Rossport issue because it gives them an opportunity to throw rocks at the Gardai."

You obviously know fuck all about what is going on there if you think Garda are being pelted with rocks. Evidence please! I'm amazed at the lack of charges being brought...the fact that riot police were never brought into action despite the poor ol' garda being pounded with rocks.....even more amazed that you forgot to mention the molotovs and the snipers' nest in the Coilte forest across from the refinery site..... . The bigger the lie eh?

author by Cradlepublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 23:40Report this post to the editors

Apparently.....

"The Rossport facility will merely dry the (mainly) methane natural gas by removing moisture and then pump it onwards into the existing gas-distribution system. The facility already in Inch Bay does exactly the same thing."

Here below Marathon, the operating company in Kinsale, and part owner of the Corrib field, describe how the gas there is processed off-shore:

"During 2001, the Bravo platform was converted to normally unmanned operations. Since then, all gas has been processed on the Alpha (East) platform. During this processing, free water is first removed in the gas/water separators, the pressure of the gas is increased in the gas compressors, the gas is dehydrated to pipeline quality and then transported to the onshore terminal at Inch."

They also describe the facility in Inch as "a receiving and metering station".

Gas is planned to be refined on shore at Ballinaboy, adjoining a water reservoir, with a production pipeline going past habitations, in an area with very little in the way of emergency services, amonst other issues.

Gas in Kinsale is refined offshore.

I notice also you confuse the Whitegate oil refinery, with the Inch Gas Terminal, with 'something' in Inch Bay...maybe the something you are talking about is in the bay - off-shore.

Please note that in no way did writing this post involve throwing a rock at anyone.

author by chrissiepublication date Fri Jun 29, 2007 19:44Report this post to the editors

If you think that the Gov't & Shell have behaved reasonably & responsibly, look at the way the Rossport 5 were treated, & at the shameful behaviour of the Gardai toward peaceful protestors. The S2S campaign seeks to protect the people & environnment of Erris from the pollution & danger that wd be a part on an onshore refinery. I don't find it unreasonable that people nearby seek to protect their families, livestock, & homeland from air- & water-borne poisons & fatal risks. Carrowmore Lough has already been tainted with aluminium & diesel. The trees opposite the proposed refinery's gates were cut down in the nesting season, showing that the extent of Shell's 'concern for the environment' is nothing but words. Fair play to all the local people who have more sense than to be bought for a handful of Euros.
It's a disgrace that the Gov't & Shell seek to drive this project through without local consent, & S2S will never cease to oppose it. Never mind the media propaganda - come & see for yourselves what's happening.

author by Brainlesspublication date Fri Jun 29, 2007 20:23Report this post to the editors

It sounds to me like chemhead is on someones role.

He's also pretty arrogant telling us what is or isn't important. Is he speaking for the public or his own interests.

Keep up the good work S2S, it's a pity the rest of us are just apathetic.

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