The Irish government has given Enterprise Oil the green light to develop Ireland's first significant gas field in 20 years, with the first supplies expected in January 2004. Marine Minister Frank Fahey said development of the Corrib gas field, discovered in 1996 off the coast of County Mayo in western Ireland, would supply around 60 percent of Ireland's gas needs in its first year of production. "This project will benefit Ireland as a whole by providing a reliable, secure and indigenous source of gas," Fahey said in a statement.
The Corrib field, 65 km off the west coast, will provide additional gas to Ireland's national grid in excess of 850 billion cubic feet over a projected lifetime of 15 to 20 years. The development of the resource by Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd - which has been prospecting off the Irish coast since the early 1990s - includes construction of up to seven sub-sea wells along a 91 km pipeline connected to an onshore terminal.