Shell ordered to dismantle Corrib pipeline

 

Shell E&P Ireland has been ordered to dismantle a section of the Corrib gas pipeline which it has welded together in Co Mayo after it was ruled to have breached a ministerial order.

Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey told the company last night the three kilometre section would have to be taken apart.

"What I'm ordering them to do now is to undo the length of pipeline they welded," Mr Dempsey said this morning.

What I'm ordering them to do now is to undo the length of pipeline they welded
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey

He also warned Shell that it would be subjected to stricter monitoring by a new technical group in the wake of the breach of his order.

"What we will have is authorised officers who will be able to go on site of any of the Shell works during the remainder of this project. They will be able to do so unannounced and without any prior notice," said Mr Dempsey.

Work on the onshore pipeline has been suspended by the company since a new safety review was commissioned by the Minister.

Shell has also temporarily suspended work on other parts of the €900 million project due to protests at the sites.

Five Co Mayo landowners, dubbed the Rossport Five, are still in prison after being ruled in contempt of court for failing to pledge to restrain from blocking Shell' access to their lands.

The five men refused to purge their contempt of court last Monday on the basis that this also involved an undertaking not to interfere with or protest over Shell's work. The five men and their supporters are calling for an offshore terminal.

Mr Dempsey said he could not intervene in the case.

"The protesters started out on this protest expressing real fears and concerns. I think some of those fears and concerns were based on misinformation about high pressure gas going through the pipe at 345 bars which is not going to happen," Mr Dempsey told RTE's Morning Ireland programme.

However, he said the Rossport Five would remain in jail until they purged their contempt of court. "That is a matter between them and the courts," he said.

Shell has announced it is shedding a total of 91 jobs as a result of ongoing protests at its facilities in Co Mayo.