Fracking firm Tamboran obtains belcoo quarry injunction

The BBC have reported:

Tamboran Resources intends to drill an exploratory borehole near Belcoo next month to collect rock samples.

Since Monday, protesters against the controversial fracking technique have held a vigil at the site entrance.

Police say they have plans in place to deal with any protests.

The quarry is owned by Acheson and Glover and Tamboran has taken out a four-month lease to carry out exploratory drilling work.

The court order prohibits people from entering or occupying land at Gandrum Road, or preventing Tamboran from carrying out exploratory mining operations and obstructing access to and from the site.

Tamboran said that after they moved equipment into the quarry, a number of individuals sought to gain unlawful access to the site.

“In order to protect the safety of local people, site security and protesters we have sought and secured an order for an injunction to deter anyone from seeking unlawful access,” the company said.

“Tamboran respects people’s right to protest and we welcome calls from local people to ensure that the protests are peaceful.

“It is important to stress that the company is undertaking work it is required to do under the terms of the licence from government and intends to meet its obligations in full.”

To read the article in full, click here.

West sussex council reject exploratory shale gas license

In what is regarded as a UK first, a local county council in England have rejected an application for exploration license for shale gas. The Guardian report:

An application by a shale company to explore for oil and gas in a picturesque part of West Sussex has been turned down. West Sussex County Council’s planning committee refused the application by Celtique Energy for oil and gas exploration near Wisborough Green, a conservation area just outside the South Downs National Park.

The refusal, thought to be the first time a council has rejected a planning application by a shale company, was welcomed by local campaigners and environmentalists who feared that the exploration would lead to controversial fracking for oil or gas. The county council said it turned down the application because Celtique did not demonstrate the site represented the best option compared with other sites, it had unsafe highways access and would have had an adverse impact on the area.

Heidi Brunsdon, chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “There were simply too many highways issues and other issues of concern for any decision other than refusal in this instance. We have noted the objections of the local community and I felt that the debate today was a full and robust one.”
Almost 100 people attended the meeting at County Hall North in HORSHAM to hear the debate and the decision, including actor James Bolam and his wife, actress Susan Jameson, who are local residents who fought against the scheme.

After the decision, Brenda Pollack, South East campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “This was absolutely the right decision. Nobody wants to see Sussex ruined by industrial drilling for dirty fossil fuels. If Celtique had been allowed to test for oil or gas, then there’s every chance that fracking would have followed.

“Local people would have seen their peaceful neighbourhoods shattered by the drilling and the extra lorries and other industrial traffic that comes with it. It has been CLEAR from the start that this application must be refused for a range of reasons.”

To read the article in full, click here.

The news came a day after drilling equipment arrived in Belcoo, County Fermanagh for an exploratory borehole drill, to be carried out by Tamboran Resources, an event which is rejected by local residents.

Northern ireland youth forum debate fracking in ennsikillen

On Wednesday 23rd July, thirty youths aged 16-24 discussed the pros and cons of Unconventional Shale Gas Extraction (USGE) in the Enniskillen Hotel, an event organised by the Northern Ireland Youth Forum (NIYF).

NIYF

Representatives from Sinn Fein, DUP, SDLP, UUP and Tamboran Resources were asked by NIYF to attend a panel to debate the pros and cons of USGE to the youth group, yet none had shown up to participate.

However, Donal O’Cofaigh of the Socialist Party, Tanya Jones, a representative for the Green Party, and a representative from FFAN were in attendance for the informed debate. They placed emphasis on the inherent risks associated with USGE, against three youths who had to fill in for Tamboran Resources.

The event provided an opportunity for youths to engage and discuss a spectrum of topics relevant to the subject of USGE in County Fermanagh in a manner that was respectable and informative.

The event, briefly attended by Phil Flanagan of Sinn Fein as an audience member, was also covered by BBC Northern Ireland and aired on the 6:30 news across the nation. To view their coverage, click here.

NIYF2

Tamboran’s belcoo ‘information leaflet’ in full

On the 21st of July 2014 at 5am with drilling equipment for the proposed exploratory borehole, they provided the following 4-page ‘Information Leaflet’ to the residents of Belcoo.

Here, the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network presents the 4 page leaflet in full for public viewing.

Page 1: Introduction
Here, Tamboran Resources introduce themselves, and their goals, drawing attention to the fact that they have been granted a five year exploration licence (that started 1st April 2011):

T1

Page 2: Purpose
Here, Tamboran Resources outline basic information about their exploratory borehole drill in Belcoo, following up with information on what happens after the exploratory borehole, before outlining perceived potential benefits of their project.

T2

Page 3: FAQ
The third page of the information leaflet outlines frequently asked questions, before drawing attention to a section entitled, “What the Independant experts have to say about shale gas.” This final section of page three is quite important, and teh Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network would encourage citizens of County Fermanagh and beyond to browse though those references in full, in particular, the InterGovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and The Public Health of England report which was recently and heavily criticised by the world renowned British Medical Journal:
T3

Page 4: Contact Details and References
Finally on page four, Tamboran Resources, provide a helpline number were one inclined to acquire more information:
T4

Before providing a list of eight references:
T5

The references of which FFAN would like to share electronically for public viewing below.

What is of concern for FFAN and citizens of County Fermanagh, isn’t so much what Tamboran Resources have put in their information leaflet, rather, the concern lies with the wealth of scientific research and evidence that they left out (For instance, the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, the Medical Journal of Australia, Concerned Health Professionals of New York, FFAN-FACTS). A wealth of scientific research which sadly, has become a stark reality for numerous communities around the world. Only when one weighs up all the scientific evidence together, can they make an informed, robust decision.

Question: Of the perceived potential benefits of unconventional shale gas extraction, as laid out by Tamboran Resources, which of them are supported by the references provided by Tamboran, laid out below?

Here are the eight references provided by Tamboran Resources:
1) Reference 1 click here.
2) Reference 2 click here.
3) Reference 3 click here.
4) Reference 4 click here.
5) Reference 5 click here.
6) Reference 6 click here.
7) Reference 7 click here.
8) Reference 8 click here.

Tamboran cover letter for residents of Belcoo

When Tamboran Resources arrived in Belcoo in the early hours of the morning (5am), 21st July, residents were not only greeted with the sound of traffic, but also this cover letter through their letter box by 9am:

Tamboran Cover letter

The third paragraph from the bottom states:

“We know there has been a campaign against shale gas, and regret the amount of misinformation that this has generated.”

Thankfully, the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network double checks and references all our facts, such as the British Medical Journal, who have stated the following about unconventional shale gas extraction:

“To the extent that they are technically and economically feasible, risk reduction technologies that mitigate adverse health outcomes should be deployed. However reviewing the public health aspects of the development of the shale gas industry requires more than merely gesturing to technological improvements that lack empirical data on their effectiveness in the real world. The optimism that fail-safe engineering solutions can ensure safe shale gas development may result more from a triumph of marketing than a demonstration of experience.”

The Medical Journal of Australia who stated that:

Unconventional gas extraction is responsible for air pollution from diesel fumes from infrastructure development and stationary equipment, gas processing, venting and flaring. Fugitive methane emissions can catalyse development of ground level ozone and combine with PM to form smog, both of which contribute to respiratory disease, among other health effects, and damage to crops — gas- field haze is a well known effect in the US, with such pollution capable of travelling substantial distances. Shale gas extraction can also involve the flaring or venting of “associated” gases, which can become hazardous air pollutants.

And world renowned medical Journal, The Lancet who stated that despite scientific study of the health effects of fracking being in its infancy, “findings suggest that this form of extraction might increase health risks compared with conventional oil and gas extraction [due to] larger surface footprints of fracking sites; their close proximity to locations where people live, work and play; and the need to transport and store large volumes of materials.”

The Lancet went further to state that the, “risks of environmental contamination occur at all stages in the development of shale gas extraction.”

Whilst in fact the proposed exploratory borehole drill will not include any hydraulic fracturing, it is recognised as the first step towards the process of Unconventional Shale Gas Extraction in County Fermanagh.

Tamboran notifies department of environment of intention to drill exploratory borehole in fermanagh

northern ireland executive

The Northern Ireland Executive have provided a press release concerning Tamboran Resources planned exploratory bore hole:

Commenting on the notification, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “There is no planning application with DOE to frack. I have been consistently clear on this issue: granting permissions relating to fracking operations will only take place when it has been supported by very strong evidence which indicates that fracking is safe for public health and the environment. No decisions have been taken in relation to permitting fracking. No planning application or applications for environmental permissions have yet been received by my Department and any future applications will be considered in a very robust manner.”

“The energy firm Tamboran today notified my Department of its intention to drill an exploratory borehole in Fermanagh. Under planning rules, this type of exploratory drilling may fall under ‘permitted development’. However, before the company is given permission to proceed, a full “screening” process under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations will be required to ensure that there is no potential for significant environmental impact. I will ensure that this screening process is rigorous and definitive before permitted development rights are considered.

“If any aspect of this development is likely to have a significant environmental impact, permitted development rights will not apply. I have instructed officials to consider carefully whether or not these rights apply and I will make a statement about the Department’s decision in due course.”

To access the article, click here.

Security in place at belcoo drill site

The Impartial reporter have confirmed that security measures have been put in place around the Acheson and Glover Quarry, where Tamboran Resources propose to carry out a bore drill.

tamboran security

The Impartial states:

Workers were busy clearing the site in preparation for drilling and a security firm was erecting fencing. There are a number of Alsation dogs on site too.
Early this morning (Monday) Tamboran officials visited Belcoo homes issuing letters and information leaflets, outlining its intention to drill nearby.
A protest has been organised at the site at 7pm this evening, with local anti-fracking protestor Donal Ó Cófaigh stating: “A community that has never been consulted about whether it wants to be fracked have yet again been treated in the most disrespectful manner by the company who want to PROFIT from this poisonous industry.”
These preparations are getting underway despite Environment Minister Mark H Durkan’s statement earlier today that questioned whether Tamboran has permitted development rights to drill its borehole. He said: “Before the company is given permission to proceed, a full screening process under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations will be required … If any aspect of this development is likely to have a significant environmental impact, permitted development rights will not apply. I have instructed officials to consider carefully whether or not these rights apply.”
Meanwhile, Tamboran has said that the proposed scientific borehole will be about 15cm (6 inches) across and around 750 metres deep. It will be drilled using “standard techniques and materials.” The drilling operation will be completed in approximately 30 days and rock samples will be examined on site and subsequently sent for laboratory ANALYSIS to better understand its content.
Director of Tamboran Resources (UK) Dr Tony Bazley has said: “People have a right to the facts and that is what we are seeking to establish.”

To access the article, click here.

Tamboran announces drilling plans

The Fermanagh Herald have released an article concerning Tamboran’s bore-drill in Belcoo, County Fermanagh.

The Fermanagh Herald state:

FRACKING COMPANY Tamboran Resources Limited has today (July 21) confirmed that it intends to drill a scientific borehole to collect rock samples in south west Fermanagh.
The company has said that at this point, no ‘fracking’ will take place.
The site for the borehole is near Belcoo, described by a company spokesman as ‘an enclosed commercial area already used for heavy industrial purposes that will have limited visual impact’.
In 2011 Tamboran was granted a Petroleum Licence for an initial five year period from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and INVESTMENT to explore for natural gas in County Fermanagh.
The collection of rock samples (core) is a key requirement of the work programme set out by Government within the licence and the company said it is determined to meet its obligations in full.
The company plans to carry out the work by September 30, hoping to commence drilling operations in late August.
The rock samples will be analysed to help confirm the presence of a natural gas source in County Fermanagh. This will enable the company to determine if it will be possible to extract the gas at a much later date, subject to full planning approval.
Making the announcement, Dr Tony Bazley, Director of Tamboran Resources (UK) Ltd said:
“Tamboran’s intention at this stage is only to verify that the elements necessary for natural gas and its recovery are contained within the shale in County Fermanagh. This is fact-finding, not fracking. If County Fermanagh is home to a significant natural gas resource that could provide Northern Ireland with decades of a local secure energy supply then we believe the people have a right to know.
“We believe that the presence of natural gas in Northern Ireland could bring considerable benefits to the local and regional economy with the potential for billions of pounds of INVESTMENT; hundreds and potentially thousands of jobs created locally and importantly for Northern Ireland a secure supply of energy that could last for decades and potentially help reduce local energy costs. However, we first need to make sure enough gas is there to be commercially viable and that we will not know for certain until the end of the licence period. This is just the first stage in that process,” said Dr Bazley.
The controversial gas extraction method has been widely debated across the county, and recieved stern opposition from local politicians and anti-fracking activists.
Anti-fracking activist, Donal O’Cofaigh, from Belcoo, has said previously that the construction of frack WELLS ‘would devastate our countryside and threaten thousands of jobs in tourism and agriculture’.
“Big business, their political representatives and the corporate-owned press are all lining up behind fracking.
“They are only interested in PROFIT, no matter the cost to people’s health, living standards and our environment.
“It’s now up to ordinary people to get organised and stop the frackers in their tracks.”

To access the article, click here.

Acheson and glover comment on Tamboran drilling

The Impartial Reporter have released a statement given by Quarry site Acheson and Glover, the site within which it was announced today that Tamboran Resources are to begin their test drilling.

The Impartial Reporter states:

A spokesman from the company said: “We can confirm that Tamboran Resourses UK is using an existing Acheson and Glover commercial quarrying site to drill a scientific borehole for the Fermanagh Shale Gas Project.
“The site near Belcoo is enclosed and will have limited visual impact for the local area and its residents. The project will involve no fracking and will be for finding purposes only.
“Despite this announcement being made now, there is no drilling activity planned for a number of weeks. It is also important to point out that the only involvement we have with this project is that we own the land where the exploration site is situated.”
They said they would not be commenting further on the matter.

To read the article, click here.