Tamboran Resources have completed the first analysis phase of their work programme and claim they could create 600 full time jobs in the county based on the “substantial natural gas field” present in north Leitrim.
By Fiona Heavey
The company that last week revealed they expect to frack exclusively in North Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland if given the go ahead, now say there is a potential for ultimate production of up to 2.2 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the county. From this they expect to create 600 full time jobs and up to 2,400 indirect jobs over the next 12 years. The energy company said if they get the go ahead to extract the gas, they could deliver substantial natural gas energy volumes for the next 40 years.
However many of these issues are being disputed by local groups.
The company, which proposes to invest up to w7 billion (up to w4.9 billion in taxes) in Ireland also said it will set up a community investment fund within Leitrim and provide incentives for emigrated youth to relocate back to the county. Tamboran made the comments in a national statement received by the paper this week, following completion of the first part of its analysis to determine the feasibility of shale gas exploration in Ireland.
Tamboran was granted a Licensing Option by the Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources and has been granted an Exploration Licence in an adjacent area in Northern Ireland where it is focusing on southwest County Fermanagh. The potential gas production in Fermanagh is even more substantial than Leitrim, and combined is “three times larger than any energy supply ever found in Ireland.”
According to the press statement, Tamboran are hoping to create a community investment fund directed entirely within County Leitrim, “estimated to lead to additional local benefits in excess of w2 million per year once the project reaches expected commerciality. Tamboran anticipates providing meaningful incentives for Irish citizens to return and relocate to County Leitrim.”
A PR spokesperson for Tamboran, Dan Penders said the company has been approached by a number of people abroad seeking potential employment in north Leitrim. The company expect to provide some training locally, while some of it will be international.
Describing the project as “a potential energy and economic game changer for Ireland”, Richard Moorman, CEO of Tamboran said, “Our initial analysis suggests very substantial shale gas reserves in the north Leitrim area. Allowing for even modest rates of recovery, the energy and economic benefits would be tremendous.
“Our analysis indicates that the island of Ireland is in the fortunate position to have substantial gas reserves under its feet. In north Leitrim alone, we believe that there could be up to 12 years of the present daily gas consumption of Ireland. Realising these resources would secure gas supply for decades, protect consumers and businesses from market uncertainty and negate the risks associated with being over dependent on unpredictable external supplies. County Leitrim would be able to attract additional businesses that would benefit directly from a secure local natural gas supply.”
Tamboran is proceeding with its agreed work programme of analysis, required under its Licensing Option, and will publish an update later this year. This initial phase did not take into account the big issue of pollution or potential damage to the Leitrim countryside, the company will undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment which will include a 12 month baseline study of all aspects of the environment, including soil, groundwater, air quality, noise levels, and seismic activity with findings to be published in earl 2013, before deciding to proceed to the next stage of the licensing and planning processes.
Subject to an exploration licence being granted by the Irish authorities, Tamboran says it believes exploration drilling could commence by 2014 with the potential for commercial development to commence a few years later.
Richard Moorman had previously conceded at a public meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon, that some chemicals would be involved in the eventual drilling process, but the press release stated they “will not utilise any chemicals in its hydraulic fracturing process in Ireland.” When questioned on this issue, the spokesperson Dan Pender again re-iterated the company “will not be using any chemicals.”
Concluding,Tamboran invites all stakeholders, especially local residents, to engage with the company and work closely with us to ensure that the project is conducted responsibly to meet the essential economic needs of the community and Ireland.
More specific details on location, geological reports and test drill holes are expected in the coming months.
For details on the growing anti-fracking campaign and some of their views see pages 12 and 13 of this wek’s Leitrim Observer.