Enegi to apply for shale gas exploration licence

A study has confirmed a natural gas field in west Clare of up to 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.

Yesterday, UK-based energy company, Enegi confirmed that on the basis of the study findings, it intends to apply to the Government for an exploration licence before February of next year.

Extraction of the shale gas will involve the controversial technique of fracking and opposition to fracking in Clare has already been voiced.

The study, carried out on behalf of Enegi by Fugro Robertson, estimates the area to be between 1.49tn and 3.86tn cubic feet of shale gas.

Enegi said on the basis of the estimates the company “has also undertaken some preliminary economic analysis which has confirmed the viability of the proposed project”.

The firm said that “results of the work programme indicate that, given the maturity, thickness and buried depth of the shale, the whole area under the option remains prospective for shale gas”.

Chief executive of Enegi, Alan Minty, said yesterday: “Clare Basin is a highly prospective project and we are delighted to be involved at this early stage.

“Our findings and the report from Fugro have further endorsed management’s belief that the Clare Basin has a strong best-case investment profile.

“The whole acreage appears to be very prospective and we are particularly excited by the area at the centre of the existing seismic grid which we have defined as high grade.”

A company spokesman said yesterday that the high-grade area is south of Doonbeg and north of Kilrush.

The company confirmed it has lodged a report with the petroleum affairs division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Yesterday was the deadline for the lodging of reports and a department spokeswomen confirmed it has also received a report from Tamboran on its license option.

Earlier this year, Tamboran confirmed potential of 2.2tn cubic feet of shale gas in north west Co Leitrim.

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