Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Gas wells storing up a problem for our future

The scale of proposed unconventional oil and gas extraction in Ireland is immense. From the first round of licences issued in 2011, 12 counties are affected.

According to the Society of Engineers, the second round of licences is expected soon. Already, in Northern Ireland, Tamboran has a licence for Fermanagh, Rathlin Energy for Antrim and Rathlin Island, Providence for Lough Neagh and an offshore licence down to the Antrim Coast.

Tamboran, for example, plans 1,440 wells in Fermanagh alone; this equates to a seven-acre pad every square mile, 60 pads with 24 gas wells on each.

The industry's own figures show that 5% of wells leak immediately and, by 30 years, 50% of all oil and gas wells are leaking - whether they have been fracked or not. In 30 years' time, when the gas is running out and the gas men are going, or have gone, what will our economy be based on?

Statistically, Fermanagh will be left with a legacy of 720 leaking gas wells for eternity.

If the people of Northern Ireland sit quietly, say nothing, do nothing and think that this is someone else's problem, fracking will go ahead by default.

If you want to ensure that, in 30 years' time, your family will live in a healthy environment, with clean air, pure water, safe clean produce and an economy based on sustainable agriculture, you need to make your voice heard now.

Or, if you want fracking to go ahead, do nothing.

GERALYN McCARRON

Tempo, Co Fermanagh

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