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Displaying items by tag: Coastal Notes

#COASTAL NOTES - Providence Resources has struck big off the south coast of Cork with an oil flow that could be worth billions of euro to the beleaguered Irish economy.

According to the Guardian, the Dublin-based company announced yesterday that oil had started to flow successfully from its Barryroe structure in the north Celtic Sea at nearly twice the rate previously projected.

Providence Resources CEO Tony O'Reilly Jr said the discovery was a "seminal day for Ireland, especially in the runup to St Patrick's Day."

Last month the firm had confirmed the presence of light oil with its first appraisal well at the site, a situation described by its technical director as "extremely encouraging".

Now that a steady flow has been achieved, future extraction from the oil field - comparable to a medium-to-large North Sea field - can surely proceed, which now puts pressure on the Government to grand permission for further exploration around the Irish coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans by Providence Rescources to prospect for oil on the east coast off Dalkey Island have been met with fierce opposition by mainland residents and environmental groups.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#COASTAL NOTES - Northern Irish director Terry George has returned to a hero's welcome in his native Co Down following his Oscar win for short film The Shore, the Irish Echo reports.

The film, which was set on Coney Island near Killough on the egde of Strangford Lough, tells the story of a man who returns to his coastal community after 25 years living in the USA.

“It’s great to come home and to visit everyone who made the film possible, the people who were in it, go back and see our neighbors,” said George on landing in Belfast. “You kind of hope that you’ll bring back the awards here to Ireland.”

The Shore is also a family effort, as it was produced by the director's daughter Oonagh George.

Published in Coastal Notes

#COASTAL NOTES - Northern Ireland's only aquarium could be privatised, according to the News Letter.

Ards Borough Council is reportedly considering its options for the future of Exploris, the aquarium and seal sanctuary in Portaferry that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Plans were made four years ago to transfer ownership to English aquarium group Blue Reef Leisure, but the deal fell through when that firm was aquired by Spain's Aspro.

Now the council has announced it is calling for proposals for private investment in the Exploris facility - which costs around £500,000 (€600,000) a year to run - following "renewed interest from the public sector".

The move aims to "establish a clear direction for the future of Exploris", which houses one of Northern Ireland's top 10 visitor attractions in its popular seal sanctuary.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#LARNE LOUGH - Larne Council has looked into the concerns of local residents over a proposed £250 million (€300 million) natural gas plant at Larne Lough, the Larne Times reports.

Islandmagee Storage Limited (IMSL) has applied for planning permission for a 500 million cubic metre natural gas storage facility in Permian salt beds almost a mile beneath the lough, which is claimed would satisfy the North's peak demand for gas for over 60 days.

But locals have spoken out with their fears over noise levels, health and safety, pollution and the potential effect on tourism in the area.

Larne Council’s environmental health department carried out its own research into the proposed facility, taking these concerns into consideration.

It found that there was "no huge issue in terms of noise levels" where similar facilities are established throughout the UK and that the effect on tourism would be negligable.

However the department was “not yet happy” with data supplied by IMSL regarding noise levels and would be seeking more detailed information.

The Larne Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT – Environment Minister Phil Hogan has rejected a call by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and others for a public inquiry into Providence Resources foreshore licence application to survey and drill for oil and gas in Dublin Bay, the Irish Times reports.

Mr Hogan has said that as the application by Providence Resources for survey and drilling work 6kms off Dalkey Island was the subject of public consultation, he did not consider a public inquiry "necessary".

Tánaiste and Labour Dún Laoghaire TD Eamon Gilmore said earlier yesterday that Mr Hogan should exercise his right to hold an oral hearing under the foreshore legislation. Last month, the Green Party and a number of residents in the Dalkey area also called for an inquiry.

Speaking in Galway yesterday, Mr Gilmore acknowledged that a "couple of wells" had been drilled in Dublin Bay previously, but there were a "lot of issues" relating to the current application.

To read more about this story click HERE

Published in News Update

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has joined the chorus of opposition to the proposed oil and gas exploration off Dalkey Island in Co Dublin.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Providence Resources has applied for a foreshore licence to search for oil or gas about 6km out to sea on the Kish Bank Basin.

But the prospect has provoked a split in the local community over the potential risks and benefits, with many calling for a public enquiry into the licence before it is granted.

This evening an urgent meeting in Dun Laoghaire will address the public's concerns, which have been echoed by the IWDG.

"The Kish Bank and adjacent waters are important for cetaceans," said the group in a statement. "In addition, sightings of bottlenose dolphins have increased dramatically in the area following the presence of a group of three individuals since August 2010."

The IWDG is concerned about the potential effects on dolphins and porpoises that "could due to noise generated from the drilling process", noting that "there is little published data on the intensity and effects of sound generated by drilling".

Protest group Protect Our Coast has launched a online petition against the Dalkey Island Prospect citing concerns over the proximity of the drilling area to the mainland as well as the Special Protection Area of Dalkey Island, which is a haven for marine wildlife.

Published in Coastal Notes

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT- At a public meeting held by Dalkey Community Council last night, it was almost unanimously agreed that a public enquiry should be held over the foreshore licence sought by Providence Resources to carry out exploratory drilling for oil and gas, in the Kish Bank basin, some 6kms off Dalkey Island, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Over 200 residents attended the meeting in Dalkey Town Hall where they heard Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councillors deal with the issues raised over the proposed seismic survey and exploratory well drill. Among the major issues was the project's proximity to the populated coastline and its special areas of conservation. It was pointed out that Norwegian drilling operations took place at least 25km offshore.

Mr. Gilmore said the fisheries conservation order in which he was engaged with during his role as Minister of State for Marine would form part of his personal submission to the Department of the Environment. When questioned from the floor if he would make his submission public, he said that for transparency he would do so "reflecting concerns of his constituents".

Providence Resources were invited to attend the meeting, but they declined on grounds of the size of the meeting, though small groups can discuss the exploratory drilling of the 'Dalkey Island' prospect at their Donnybrook headquarters.

The company have said that the work they want to do is purely exploratory and relatively low-key and that it can be undertaken unnoticed, with no adverse environmental effects.

Tom Kivlehan of the Green Party, who had last week called on Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan to establish a public enquiry, said: "There are huge concerns among the people of Dublin about the proposed application and they feel that the process does not afford them the opportunity to have their questions and worries answered."

Mr Kivlehan emphasised, however, that the risks and benefits must be balanced. This point was also made by former Green Party T.D. Ciaran Cuffe who said that while untold damage could be done, "we must evaluate everything very carefully."

People Before Profit T.D. Richard Boyd Barrett said he was "absolutely opposed" to the proposal and the impact it would have on Dublin Bay as an amenity and to tourism. He called at the very least for a public enquiry to be carried out before a decision on granting the licence is made and claimed that there were no guarantees that any oil would be discovered or the potential financial benefits of a find would go to the Irish people.

Published in Coastal Notes

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT – The Green Party has called on the Minister for the Environment ,Phil Hogan, to hold a public enquiry in to the application to grant a license to Providence Resources' PLC to carry out a site survey and drill an exploration well in the Dalkey Island prospect on the Kish Bank basin.

Speaking yesterday Green Party spokesperson on Planning, Tom Kivlehan, said: "There are huge concerns among the people of Dublin about the proposed application and they feel that the process does not afford them the opportunity to have their questions and worries answered.

A public enquiry could address their fears. We have seen the consequences of poor public consultation in respect of the Corrib Gas Field and we should learn the lessons from it".

Dublin Bay is an environmentally sensitive area and a tremendous amenity for the population of Dublin, Famous for its Dublin bay prawns, it has a special area of conservation, bird sanctuaries, seal and dolphin populations, fishing grounds, beaches and sailing facilities.

He added: "It also is home to Ireland's largest port and is a busy shipping hub. Any new proposed development that can cause a potential risk to the life of Dublin Bay must be open public scrutiny and be fully transparent".

Under the Foreshore Act 1933 (Section 3, paragraph 9) the Minister has the power to call a public inquiry and "we now ask him on behalf of the people of Dublin to do so as quickly as possible".

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a public meeting is to be held  by Dalkey Community Council next week  to discuss the proposed exploratory operation by Providence Resources.

Published in Coastal Notes

#'DALKEY ISLAND' PROSPECT – In response to a proposed exploratory search for oil and gas operation by Providence Resources off Dalkey Island, Co. Dublin, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, a public meeting is to be held by Dalkey Community Council next week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The meeting to be held next Tuesday in Dalkey Town Hall (at 7.30 p.m.) is to discuss the Providence venture, named 'Dalkey Island' prospect, in reference to the island off the south-side suburb. The island and the coast along Dalkey is geographically the nearest landfall to where the proposed 'jack-up' drill rig would operate in block (33/21) in the Kish Bank Basin.

An online petition (see www.protectourcoast.net)  by campaigners, entitled 'Protect Dublin Bay, Dalkey Island and Killiney Bay from Large Oil Drill 2012', has already gained large support, including signatures from overseas. They are in protest over Providence Resources application for a foreshore license which has been lodged with the Department of Environment.

Providence Resources propose to drill a single borehole for the exploratory well which is likely to be in an area only 6kms offshore of the Dalkey coastline. The island is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) and notably where there have been sightings of bottlenose dolphins in neighbouring Killiney Bay.

Should the oil be commercially viable, the benefits of becoming self-sufficient and security of supply would be of significant economic benefit to Ireland. To date 100% of the country's oil and 95% of its gas is currently imported, and yet most of Ireland's natural resources are unexplored, according to Providence Resources.

Exploration is an expensive exercise and has no guarantee of discovery while the timeframe from discovery to production can typically take five to seven years.

"Yet," say Providence Resources, "the implications of discovering and utilising such a natural resource, and potentially becoming self-sufficient in energy terms, would be of significant economic benefit for Ireland Inc. in terms of taxation, employment, security of supply and skills development."

To read more information about Dalkey Island Prospect from Providence Resources, with maps, montages (including views from White Rock Beach) newsletters and video presentation visit www.providenceresources.com/dalkeyisland.aspx

Published in Coastal Notes
#COASTAL NOTES - A new book detailing the "colourful history" of Helen's Bay and Crawfordsburn in north Down has been launched, the News Letter reports.
Twixt Bay & Burn features a number of rare photographs among interesting and little-known facts about the coastal area from the 17th century to today.
Also documented in its pages are the memories of over 50 residents going back to the 1920s, highlighting the area's contributions to the Second World War effort.
Robin Masefield, who compiled and edited the book, described it as a "labour of love".
The News Letter has much more on the story HERE.

#COASTAL NOTES - A new book detailing the "colourful history" of Helen's Bay and Crawfordsburn in north Down has been launched, the News Letter reports.

Twixt Bay & Burn features a number of rare photographs among interesting and little-known facts about the coastal area from the 17th century to today.

Also documented in its pages are the memories of over 50 residents going back to the 1920s, highlighting the area's contributions to the Second World War effort.

Robin Masefield, who compiled and edited the book, described it as a "labour of love".

The News Letter has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 23 of 24

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