Despite rumours, varied information and local concern, Tamboran Resources cannot drill any bore holes in Co Fermanagh without full planning permission.
Over the past number of weeks concern has been heightened that Tamboran Resources, the company that wishes to frack for gas in Leitrim and Fermanagh, have drilled and/or intend to drill sample bore holes as part of their research in Co Fermanagh.
Eddie Mitchell of Love Leitrim said in a telephone conversation with Irish officials in Petroleum Affairs Division (PAD) last week “it was confirmed that the department had received a communication from Tamboran of their intention to carry out drilling in Fermanagh in a matter of weeks, by summer or early autumn.” He also stated, “It was also confirmed by officials in the conversation that PAD, who requires Tamboran to carry out core drilling in order for it to complete its obligations towards its Irish licence application, will accept the results of samples taken in Northern Ireland.”
The Leitrim Observer sought the same confirmation from PAD, but is still awaiting a response. Tamboran Resources as well as the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment were unable to respond due to the public holiday in Northern Ireland this week.
Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA, Phil Flanagan has confirmed that no bore holes have been drilled and there has been no permission sought or given for any holes to be drilled.
Sinn Féin’s Flanagan told the paper, “People’s fears appear to be based on information Tamboran are providing to financial investment magazines in America. This information would attract greater investment in the company. I would challenge the accuracy of their comments.”
“Tamboran have neither sought nor been given permission to drill any holes in Fermanagh. Any application must go through the planning process, which will be a fully public and transparent affair.”
Mr Flanagan, who has been actively involved in opposing fracking in Fermanagh, said that Tamboran have told many groups of their intention to drill holes, but he said that the planning process like that in the Republic is a long process which could take months. He said objections from the public would also be considered during the planning process.
The EPA are conducting a report into whether Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction can be carried out safely in Ireland. Their findings are not expected until the end of this year.