Tamboran Resources and Enegi Oil apply for Fracking Exploration Licences
Two companies have applied for exploration licences which could lead to the controversial process of fracking.
The initial onshore licences which only allowed for initial studies were granted two years ago and will expire tomorrow. Both companies had to apply for an exploration licence to continue their operations.
Exploration licences involve commitments to drill an exploration well, or wells.
A separate drilling permit is required before drilling is allowed.
In advance of any drilling, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would have to be conducted and that EIA would include a public consultation phase.
In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is carrying out its own study into fracking and it may be years before commercial drilling is allowed to take place, if at all.
Nevertheless, both companies have expressed satisfaction at the findings of their initial studies of both areas.
Tamboran estimates that 4.4 trillion cubic feet of gas could be under the ground in an area centred on south Fermanagh and north Leitrim, although independent estimates suggest the figure is closer to 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Enegi Oil says its initial findings suggest there may be between 1.49 trillion cubic feet and 3.86 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The UK-based energy firm Enegi has confirmed to the paper that it intends to apply to the Irish authorities for an exploration licence before next February.
But locals have already objected as extraction of the shale gas will involve ‘fracking’.
Roisin Ni Ghairbhith of Clare Fracking Concerned told the paper: “What Enegi Oil need to realise is that the people of Clare value their health, water, environment and most of all their children a lot more than any short-term jobs.
“The public, the entire County Council and the IFA in Clare have all said no to fracking ever happening in this county.”
The report states that a study carried out on behalf of Enegi by Fugro Robertson Ltd calculates the recoverable resource estimates for the area to be between 1.49 trillion cubic feet and 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.
Enegi chief Alan Minty said: “Clare Basin is a highly prospective project and we are delighted to be involved at this early stage.
“Our findings and the report from Fugro have further endorsed management’s belief that the Clare Basin has a strong best case investment profile.
“The whole acreage appears to be very prospective and we are particularly excited by the area at the centre of the existing seismic grid which we have defined as high grade.”
The find is located between Doonbeg and Kilrush in the west of the county.
A statement from Enegi said: “We have undertaken some preliminary economic analysis which has confirmed the viability of the proposed project.”