Fracking firm finds potential in Clare
A SECOND overseas firm seeking to start fracking in Ireland has confirmed initial positive results concerning a natural gas field.
UK-based Enegi Oil had already said analysis from field studies examining the hydraulic fracturing potential for shale gas in the Clare basin was “extremely encouraging”.
Earlier this year, Tamboran Resources confirmed the existence of a “substantial natural gas field” of 2.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in north Leitrim.*Tamboran Resources and Enegi Oil hold two of the three State licences awarded to examine fracking potential in Ireland.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process in which fluid is injected into rock formations to create or widen fissures, thereby allowing the extraction of oil and gas.
Enegi Oil’s licence extends to 495sq km covering much of west Clare, including the entire Loop Head peninsula. Its plans have already run into local opposition, while members of Clare County Council have also outlined their opposition to fracking in the county.
In an update on its work in the Clare basin, Enegi Oil said: “The results of sample analysis undertaken to date have been extremely encouraging, indicating a higher prospectivity than was previously anticipated.”
It added: “The total organic carbon analysis has confirmed that the shale is a rich source rock containing an abundance of preserved organic matter.”
Enegi said analysis indicated the shale was “of lower maturity than previously recorded in literature, which enhances the potential for gas preservation at depth in the basin”.
The company has engaged a firm, Fugro Robertson, “to undertake further testing in order to gain a fuller understanding of the prospectivity of the region”.
Last May, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said no fracking for gas would take place in Ireland pending further “detailed scientific analysis and advice”.
Mr Rabbitte was speaking as he commissioned further study by the Environmental Protection Agency into fracking in Ireland.
* This article was amended on September 14th, 2012, to remove an incorrect figure.