The chief executive of Tamboran Resources, the natural gas ‘fracking company’, has confirmed that they will operate exclusively in north Leitrim and Fermanagh.
‘Fracking’ or hydraulic fracturing is the controversial process of using jets of highly pressurised water, often with sand and chemicals added, to blast apart shale rock in order to extract natural gas.
A number of public meetings were held across the north west where locals expressed concerns at the possible impact of such operations on the environment, health and safety and tourism.
The company’s CEO, Richard Moorman, told the Donegal Democrat’s sister paper the Leitrim Observer this week: “We have ruled out everything in the project area except north County Leitrim and west County Fermanagh. Thur Mountain is still the target exploration area.”
More specific details on the areas they will target in north Leitrim are expected to be released later this week, but at the moment it seems to be confined to the larger Glenfarne area.
The company says it “would not be commercially viable” to continue with its gas exploration plans in other areas.
Mr Moorman had previously outlined the companies intention to carry out exploration in the Lough Allen basin, including parts of south Donegal.
Both Donegal County Council and Bundoran Town Council recently passed resolutions to include a ban on fracking in the new County and Town Development Plans.
As a result of the recent fracking ban in Co Sligo, Tamboran Resources have withdrawn all plans to provide a course in IT Sligo for up to 1,200 prospective employees.
Independent TD for Donegal South West Thomas Pringle told the Donegal Democrat yesterday: “Even the small area they are planning to go ahead with is too much. According to Minister Pat Rabitte their current licence only allows them to carry out desk surveys. I will be calling on the Minister not to grant any licence to carry out fracking.
”Tambouran’s licence for Fermanagh does allow them to carry out two test fracking operations. The area could end up being right on the border with Donegal, so this is something we would be very concerned about.”
Read more in Thursday’s Donegal Democrat.