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Colreavy calls for transparency in relation to Lough Allen Basin gas exploration and drilling

16 June, 2011 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Sinn Féin TD for Sligo / North Leitrim Michael Colreavy has called for a radical change to the revenue and licensing terms governing oil and gas exploration.

Deputy Colreavy said there are “increasing concerns about the drilling technology apparently to be deployed in the Lough Allen Basin.”

He said:

“I understand the companies licensed to explore the Lough Allen basin intend to use a technology called fracing to access the underground gas. This involves putting millions of gallons of water containing over 600 chemicals through underground channels to fracture rocks. There is ample evidence that this technology is causing severe and extensive environmental damage in several states of the USA.

“The film “Gasland” was shown to several local community groups recently and I have arranged for it to be shown in Leinster House today between 10am and 12 noon.

“I hope there will be a good attendance - particularly of local TDs and Senators – as the Lough Allen Basin covers parts of Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan, Roscommon and Fermanagh. I have been in contact with Sinn Féin Energy spokesperson in the north Phil Flanagan MLA to ensure there is a coordinated cross-border community response to the threats posed to the area and people of the Lough Allen Basin.

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to exploiting our natural resources for the benefit of the people. We believe there is massive potential in our oil and gas reserves; but there must be a radical change to the entire exploration sector. We would welcome an open, transparent system of oil and gas exploration and extraction that would:

Benefit the Irish people as well as the companies granted exploration / extraction licenses
Ensure there is no long-term environmental damage, and no potential damage to animal or human health resulting from the drilling processes used and
Ensure the Irish Government has available the required technological and scientific expertise to calculate resource reserves and ensure compliance with proven good practice”

“In 2006, the Irish Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources estimated off-shore oil and gas reserves of approximately €700 billion. Imagine the difference safe, democratic and accountable of that resource could make to this state” concluded Deputy Colreavy.

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