Time to consider fracking


Sir, – Petrochemicals company Ineos has announced that it will make a €2.7 billion investment somewhere in northwest Europe (matching their existing investment in the UK) to process fracked gas imported from the US.

In the US, gas costs about 50 per cent less than in Europe, largely due to the effect of introducing fracking.

Ireland is geographically ideal for this investment, being the closest land mass and having plentiful supplies of gas that could be fracked.

The UK safety organisations have demonstrated that, subject to the usual tried and tested safety regulations, there is no scientific basis for stopping the fracking of gas. Indeed it is safer than mining coal as no miners need to go underground.

I hope the kind of political and anti-scientific arguments that led to the prevention of a thriving uranium industry in Ireland’s poor Border area (my own birthplace) do not close off this opportunity to create a new industry in Ireland.

Should this opportunity be realized it would be reasonable to expect the price of gas to Irish citizens and businesses to drop by at least 40 per cent. This would create jobs across Irish industry by making high-energy sectors viable for investment and driving down costs for existing industry. It would also increase everyone’s standard of living.

By way of full disclosure I began my corporate career in Shell and have BP among my clients. – Yours, etc,