"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Shell EP Ireland’s managing director Michael Crothers gas paid tribute to predecessor Andy Pyle, who has died unexpectedly.
Mr Pyle (64) was appointed by Royal Dutch Shell plc to head the Corrib gas project in 2002, after the company’s €5.7 billion buyout of the original gas field developer, Enterprise Oil.
The engineer with 30 years of experience with Shell came to national prominence in June 2005, after his company’s decision to seek a High Court order relating to laying of the Corrib gas onshore pipeline through Rossport in north Mayo.
This led to the jailing on June 29th, 2005, of the five residents known as the “Rossport five”.
Mr Pyle retired in May 2008 and was replaced by Terry Nolan, who served until 2011.
Mr Crothers described Mr Pyle’s commitment to the Corrib project as “exceptional, especially during the many challenging times in the mid-2000s, when being head of the company was often a difficult place to be”.
Mr Pyle was cremated in Aberdeen last week. He is survived by his wife Sue and two sons.