"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.”
A Scandinavian economist and fisherman has said that Norwegian people have “no idea of what’s being done in their name” in Ireland.
Lofoten islander Bjørnar Nicolaisen was commenting on Norwegian company Statoil’s role in the Corrib gas project, after he spent the past week with residents living near the gas terminal and pipeline landfall in north Mayo.
Mr Nicolaisen, secretary of Norwegian fishermen’s union Andøy Fiskarlag, has also voiced concern about the impact on marine life of seismic surveying currently taking place on the Corrib field.
The economist turned fisherman was invited to north Mayo by community group Pobal Chill Chomáin, which was formed in 2008 to propose a compromise to the Corrib gas controversy and which engaged in national and international mediation attempts.
New calls to review the safety of the project’s offshore pipeline and associated infrastructure have been made in the wake of the magnitude 4 earthquake on the Slyne Basin, 20km south of Corrib wells.
Statoil spokesman Bård Glad Pedersen said that the company believed “it is possible to conduct seismic surveys and develop oil and gas projects while protecting fisheries”.
“This has been demonstrated on the Norwegian continental shelf and elsewhere over decades,” Mr Pedersen said. “Statoil informs openly about its partnership in the Corrib project.”
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has recently lodged a complaint to the European Commission about seismic survey impacts here.