Shell Gets Irish License to Complete Offshore Gas Pipe -Reuters

(Dow Jones Newswires), March 25, 2011

Ireland on Friday granted Shell a license to complete the controversial Corrib pipeline project, which the company says could provide up to 60% of Irish demand for natural gas, Reuters reported.

The pipeline will link Ireland's northwest coast to the Corrib field offshore, which is estimated to contain 1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government said in a statement that it had granted a pipeline foreshore license, the last government permission needed for work to begin on the project, which has been beset by protests and delays since its discovery in 1996.

But a legal action to overturn the pipeline's planning permission being heard in the country's High Court could still cause delays.

The action is being brought by residents who fear onshore processing would bring the pipeline too close to their homes and pollute the water supply. Protests against the pipeline in the past have led to several arrests and a hunger strike.

Shell said in a statement Friday that it welcomed the government's decision. It said it has developed five wells at the field, built the offshore pipeline and is close to completing the onshore terminal.

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