Ireland approves Shell to operate Corrib gas plant

Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has approved a license for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to operate its onshore gas processing plant and terminal at Bellanaboy Bridge, Bellagelly South, in County Mayo, which will receive and process as much as 10 million cu m/day of natural gas from Corrib field about 83 km off northwestern Ireland (OGJ Online, May 1, 2003).

Issued on Oct. 8 and subject to a series of conditions, the industrial emissions license permits Shell to operate the gas processing plant and allows combustion of fuels at the site with a total rated thermal input of 50 Mw or more, IEPA said.

While the gas processing plant and terminal are technically ready for start-up, Shell continues to await final regulatory approval before it can begin deliver gas to the onshore complex, the company said.

Shell had completed technical readiness of both onshore and offshore installations included as part of the Corrib gas development project as of end-August, according to a Sept. 4 release from the company.

Pipeline approval

The last regulatory hurdle Shell faces before it can fully commission the long-delayed project involves an approval of its application to Ireland’s Ministry for Communications, Energy, and Nautral Resources (MCENR) for permission to operate a 91.7-km, 508-mm gas pipeline that will deliver gas from Corrib field subsea facilities to the Bellanaboy Bridge processing plant.

Comprised of an 83.4-km offshore section from Corrib field to a landfall at Glengad (Dooncarton) in Broadhaven Bay and an 8.3-km onshore section extending from landfall to the Bellanaboy Bridge terminal site, the pipeline system also includes the following:

• An associated 130-mm nominal diameter services umbilical that extends between Corrib field and landfall.

• Three smaller umbilicals and other essential cabling that extend from landfall to the Bellanaboy Bridge terminal site.

• A 250-mm diameter outfall discharge pipeline from the terminal to a point about 12.7 km from landfall outside Broadhaven Bay.

• An aboveground landfall valve installation in Glengad (Dooncarton) that consits of valves and instrumentation designed to limit pressure in the onshore pipeline to 100 bar or less.

Approved for construction of the pipeline in 2011, Shell submitted its application to MCENR for consent to operate the line on Aug. 18, the company said in an Aug. 24 regulatory notice.

Discovered in 1996, the Corrib field contains an estimated 1 tcf of gas, and at peak production, has the potential to supply as much as 60% of Ireland’s gas needs, Shell said.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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