Shell Gas today announced plans to move forward with 4 new natural gas wells on Carrigans Lough just outside Silverbridge. These will be the first natural gas drilling operations in Ireland to use a water platform, similar to gulf oil platforms.
Earlier this year Shell discovered the largest deposit of natural gas so far in the Silverbridge and Mullaghbawn areas. Shell currently operates over 700 natural gas wells around Europe producing an average of 2,027MMcf per day of natural gas.
“The Carrigans Lough operation represents a huge potential for us in the coming years,” Shell spokesperson Larry O’Neill tells us. “Not only is there a vast reserve of natural gas sitting under Carrigans Lough, but initial testing has shown it to be up to 99.9% pure.”
The move to begin drilling under Carrigans Lough has drawn a number of opponents to the operation and fracking practices used to extract the gas. Most notably Sinn Fein elected Representative Colman Burns.
“I am going to do everything in my power to stop the extraction and distribution of natural gas from the south Armagh and Carrigans Lough region,” Burns said at a press conference announcing the move. “This is bad for the area, bad for Ireland, and ultimately bad for our future. The process of fracking causes potential environmental side effects that we are not prepared to deal with.”
Shell was able to win over opponents worried the oil rigs would detract from tourism to the area by announcing that all rigs would incorporate a drive up (by boat) bar, Friar Tuck’s restaurant and a Spar or Centra shop.