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Consultation on NI shale gas proposals extended

Words: Roger Milne
Consultation on fracking licences near Lough Neagh / Shutterstock_423522574

Northern Ireland's Department of the Economy has confirmed to The Planner that it has extended the consultation period for two petroleum licences until the end of this month because of public concern over the proposals.

In a statement the department said: “They were due to close on the 5 July, however, following a number of requests the department has extended both consultation periods to 31 July 2019.”

The licences cover around half of Fermanagh and, separately a large area around Lough Neagh which affects five local authority areas, including the capital. The companies involved are interested to see if the areas contain economically recoverable shale gas. Communities fear that eventually this could mean fracking.

Tamboran Resources (UK) Limited, the company involved in Fermanagh, has claimed that the natural gas resources there could be worth £20 billion over 25 years, and could create “up to 3, 000 direct and indirect jobs” in the county.

Natural gas could be “a game-changer” for Northern Ireland economically and environmentally, insists Tamboran’s chief executive Karl Prenderville.

Image credit | Shutterstock