Rathlin Energy claims drilling in Antrim will have little impact

The Canadian company has applied for planning permission for a 2,700m borehole

Anti-fracking sign  near Belcoo, Co Fermanagh. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Anti-fracking sign near Belcoo, Co Fermanagh. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Rathlin Energy claims its proposal to drill an oil and gas exploration well into the shale layer at Ballinlea, in Co Antrim will have “no significant impacts” on the surrounding area.

The Canadian company has applied for planning permission to construct an exploratory borehole to a depth of 2,700m on the proposed site which lies half way between Ballintoy Harbour and the Dark Hedges.

Exploration licence

It has submitted a new environmental impact assessment report to support its application to drill into the shale layer at Ballinlea.

In the report it maintains there will be “no significant impacts” when it comes to the landscape, noise levels, ecology, water quality or public health from its proposed exploration project.

It does, however, concede that significant earthworks and dust has the potential to affect the ecological make-up of the area and that aquatic flora and fauna might also be affected because of changes to water chemistry. The North’s Planning Service had sought the environmental impact assessment after ruling that there could be “significant environmental impacts”.

No reassurance

Forty-three homes are within half a mile of the proposed well site and it said it was particularly concerned that the company saw no need to monitor possible health side effects.