Anti-fracking group Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) has described the news that both Enegi Oil and Tamboran intend to apply for full Exploration Licenses as a result of discovering “recoverable” gas in County Clare, as potentially “disastrous”.
The Department of Energy recently confirmed that they have received relevant documents from both companies on or before the deadline date of last Friday, November 30th.
In a statement to the Observer, GEAI founder member Aedin McLoughlin said the development confirms the situation the protest group has already publicised. She said: “Whereas the Irish Government have said that no hydraulic fracturing will be permitted before the new EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) report is published and considered in 2014, there is no commitment by the Government to impose a moratorium on issuing licenses before then. Exploration licenses allowing deep drilling and flow testing of gas could still be issued.
“This could lead to a disastrous scenario”, she said.
“Once this juggernaut is set going, it would be nearly impossible to stop it. Exploration without fracking could be followed by a permit for hydraulic fracturing later. If results are positive, commercial extraction with hundreds of pads, thousands of wells and all the resulting environmental and health issues will follow.”
GEAI also plan to lobby the Government to impose a moratorium on the issuing of all further licenses for on-shore shale gas exploration.