"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 to Sea Campaign,Rossport,Co. Mayo.
PH: 087 9591474
H.E. Mr. Truls Hanevold,Ambassador of Norway to Ireland.The Royal Norwegian Embassy,34 Molesworth Street,Dublin 2.
Re: Statoil’s involvement in onshore gas refinery & pipeline in Mayo.
I am writing to you on behalf of the ShelltoSea campaign concerning Statoil’s involvement in the proposed onshore gas refinery & pipeline in Mayo. As a campaigning organisation we would expect that you will communicate our concerns to the relevant government authorities in Norway.
At the outset I think it would be fair to say that most Irish people familiar with Statoil and Norway’s development would admire the way in which the standard of living of the people of Norway has become the highest in the World from the benefits of oil & gas discoveries and a social model based on even distribution of wealth. The main factor here has obviously been the Norwegians governments ability to retain significant control and royalties from the Oil & Gas finds. In addition to this no development could have taken place without nationally acceptable health & safety and environmental standards.
This success story contrasts with the potential for the project Statoil is now involved with in the west of Ireland. The Irish government has retained no stake in the gas discoveries here. Not a drop of this gas will necessarily stay in Ireland. If it does, it will be sold to Bórd Gáis at the full market rate. Furthermore the people of North West Mayo are being used as guinea pigs for an untried onshore refining process which is certainly environmentally polluting not to mention the litany of health & safety concerns raised.
To compound these developments the approach of the main site developer Shell Oil has been one of arrogance and intimidation reminiscent of their now infamous exploits in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Does Statoil, and by extension the Government and people of Norway, really want to be associated with the illegal actions of Shell, and their intimidation of local people defending their rights and their environment?
Norway has been independent from Sweden for about as long as Ireland has been independent from Britain. In this time Norway has managed to develop their economy without compromising on health & safety & environmental issues not to mention the dignity of their people. As such we urge you to apply the same standards in your overseas concerns and adhere to the high standards you have already set!
There is one simple way to do this. Refine the gas at Sea.
Eoin Ó Broin,