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Campaign to Stop Planned Oil Drill off Dalkey Island

17th January 2012
Campaign to Stop Planned Oil Drill off Dalkey Island

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - An online petition organised by Protect Our Coast in protest over plans by Providence Resources to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Dalkey Island, in south Co. Dublin, has reached over 2,000 signatures to date, including support from overseas.

Providence Resources are seeking permission from the Department of Environment for a foreshore licence to carry out site investigation and drill testing in waters depths of 20-30m in the Kish Bank Basin, at the Dalkey Island 'Prospect'.

They propose drilling one exploratory well some 6kms offshore, though the exact location chosen for the well site is subject to results of seismic surveys. This particularly area lies closer to the coastline, as it is on the more westerly fringes of the exploratory block (33-21) zone.

The campaigners object to the proximity of the well site off Dalkey Island which is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA). The island is home to a resident herd of goats, is rich in birdlife, seals and cetaceans, notably bottlenose dolphins in neighbouring Killiney Bay, which have drawn recent media attention and aided the objectives of the campaign, see www.protectourcoast.net

In addition they oppose the drilling location given its closeness to a large urban population and the risk of an oil-spill and consequent effects to humans and the environment throughout Dublin Bay.

If granted, exploratory work is due to start this year, with Providence claiming the entire process would take up to six months, between survey and drilling operations. During part of that timeframe, up to two seismic vessels will be employed, prior to deploying a 'jack-up' rig to the well site.

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

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the application for the foreshore license is currently on view in Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire Garda stations. The application contains maps, plans, and drawings which can be inspected, noting the public consultation process ends on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

In addition for information from the Department of Environment's website, click HERE. Those wishing to make an objection or representation of the sought license should make submissions to the Foreshore Unit of the department on close of business (also) on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

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Published in Coastal Notes
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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