Assembly Question on Ballinlea exploratory bore well

22 03 2014

 Ballinlea-Well-

Proposed On-Shore Oil Well in Ballinlea

 Mr Agnew asked the Minister of the Environment what consideration has been given to the health of residents in the vicinity of the proposed on-shore oil well in Ballinlea (E/2013/0093/F); and whether he is aware of best practice regulations in other locations which require a buffer zone around the vicinity of such developments. AQW( 31531/11-15)

Mr Durkan:

To clarify, application E/2013/0093/F relates to temporary works for the drilling of an exploratory borehole to approx 2700m depth to investigate underground strata for hydrocarbon exploration under DETI licence PL3/10 issued to Rathlin Energy Ltd. The application is not for the commercial exploitation of oil. In relation to the health and safety of the local residents the Department consults with a range of statutory consultees when assessing the impact the proposed development will pose to the local area.

In relation to this application the Department has consulted with environmental agencies within NIEA such as Water Management Unit, Industrial Pollution and Radiochemical Inspectorate and Land and Resource Management who assess the potential impact the development will have to the local land, air  and water environment.

The local Councils Environmental Health Department (EHD) has been consulted and has the remit to assess and comment on noise and air quality impacts. The Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) has also been consulted to ensure that on-site operations are conducted in line with health and safety regulations.

 

The Department also intends to consult with the Public Health Agency upon receipt of information to be submitted in March from the applicant. In terms of best practice, DOE Planning Officials work closely with colleagues in NIEA and in other regulatory agencies to ensure that the development is comprehensively assessed and safeguards are in place to protect the safety and amenity of the public.

 

 

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Cunningham calls on Rathlin Energy to clarify their intentions

23 04 2013

Ballinlea-Well-2008

Ballycastle SDLP Dónal Cunningham has called on oil and gas exploration company Rathlin Energy to clarify their position with regard to their plans for any new exploration well within the onshore Rathlin Basin.

Councillor Cunningham continued

“We are aware that following the analysis of results from the 2008 Ballinlea well, the company intends to seek permission for a new exploration well with drilling likely to take place early 2014”

“I would call on the company to make clear from their geological evidence and seismic data what their intentions for development are.”

“Bearing in mind that that the Environment Minister Alex Attwood has warned against a headlong rush in to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and that Council and the local community have both voiced their opposition to fracking – the onus must be on the company state if this forms part of their plans.”





Rathlin Energy confirm completion of seismic survey

12 07 2012

Commenting  on the news that gas and oil exploration firm Rathlin Energy Ltd has publicly confirmed the completion of its Ballinlea 2012 VSP & 2D seismic survey undertaken by Tesla Exploration International Ltd, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the company to make public the results and evaluation of the subsurface geology, and  to declare to the public if it intends to apply for permission to extract shale gas by means of the controversial hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process.

“Moyle Council have already expressed their opposition to fracking, a process which  involves the pumping of millions of gallons of water, mixed with hundreds of highly toxic chemicals, thousands of feet deep into the ground.
“Already in the U.S.A, Canada, Europe and Australia, pollution caused by this process to land, to air, to surface water and to groundwater has resulted in a terrible health toll and catastrophic environmental damage.”
“We have to say no to the possibility of fracking, anywhere in the North Coast Rathlin Basin”