A FRESH bid to bring fracking to Fermanagh has been made this week with the launch of a public consultation.
The Department of Economy announced the receipt of an application for a Petroleum Licence covering approximately 600sq km in the south west of the county.
Yesterday (Tuesday) the Department of Economy published documentation outlining this was accepted as a valid application, this will now be subject to a public consultation open until 5 July 2019.
The application relates to the south west of Lower and Upper Lough Erne, a large part of the region is commonly termed the Fermanagh Highlands. The area lies within the northern part of the Lough Allen Basin. This area overlies a geological basin. The underlying geology means there may be potential for natural gas to be present.
Reacting to the latest application, Dr Carroll O’Dolan, health spokesman for Fermangh Fracking Awareness Network (FFAN) said the group find this “totally inappropriate”.
Dr O’Dolan said the group would oppose an application relating to fracking. “We have won our case before and we will fight our case again, it’s totally inappropriate. Instead of the government facilitating the fossil fuel industry it should be facilitating the complete opposite.”
Donal O’Cofaigh spokesman for Belcoo Frack Free said, “Campaigners involved in the anti-fracking movement always knew that there was the possibility if not the likelihood that this threat could re-appear. The door for an application was always open – that’s why we maintained our campaign structures for the day that this would return.”
Mr O’Cofaigh also questioned the timing of the announcement. He added that despite “so-called benefits of fracking”, community sentiment is that “this industry offers nothing positive for our long-term development.”
The application in respect of exploration details stages of proposed works. The first stage of the licence application is a proposal to drill a single borehole at a site approximately one hectare in size.
It is anticipated that the borehole will be approximately 1,500 metres deep and will serve to establish rock sequence and collect rock samples.