THE official launch of Corrib Natural Gas took place today in Erris today (Monday), with Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Joe McHugh performing the official duties.
Minister McHugh, who has special responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, was joined at the lunchtime event by senior representatives of Shell and its partners Statoil and Vermilion, members of the local community, staff and contractors, and a range of industry, business and other representatives.
The Dutch and Canadian ambassadors were also present in Belmullet along with a senior representative from the Norwegian Embassy to mark the historic occasion.
Natural gas has been flowing from the Corrib field since December 30, 2015.
Speaking at the event, Ronan Deasy, managing director for Shell E&P Ireland Limited, said: "Ireland now has a new safe and reliable source of natural gas that will provide energy for homes and businesses for the next two decades. Today we recognise and say thank you to our employees, contractors, partners and the wider community for their contribution in bringing the Corrib Gas field on-stream."
More than 6,000 people have worked on bringing Corrib gas to market, with the development sustaining 175 jobs over the next 15 to 20 years.
"Corrib has been unique in many ways. As the largest energy investment in Ireland, the development will not only strengthen our country’s security of supply but will continue to bring many benefits to Erris, Mayo and Ireland more broadly," said Mr. Deasy.
Six wells have been drilled at the Corrib field with gas transported to the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal through a 20-inch pipeline.
The gas is processed at Bellanaboy before it is transferred into the Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) network, which delivers it to Irish gas consumers.
The Corrib project is a joint venture between Shell E&P Ireland Limited (45%), Statoil Exploration Ireland Limited (36.5%) and Vermilion Energy Ireland Limited (18.5%). Shell E&P Ireland Limited is the operator