Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 12 June, 2001

Written Answers. - Corrib Gas Field.

158. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he has the authority to grant a compulsory purchase order to Enterprise Energy Ireland against the landowners affected by the proposed gas and effluent discharge pipelines; and, if so, the procedures this would entail. [17174/01]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act, 1960 provides that I may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, compulsorily acquire either permanently or temporarily any such land or ancillary right which I consider is necessary for the efficient or convenient exploitation of petroleum. This can be done by a working facilities acquisition order made under the Act.

When it is proposed to make a working facilities acquisition order, the Minister is required to serve notice on every person appearing to him to have an interest in such land, notice of his intention of doing so at least two months before making such an order and if there is a dwelling place on such land, at least four months, and publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the locality in which such land is situated a like notice of his intention. Such notices, if they relate to the acquisition of land, must state the situation and area of such land, with sufficient particularity to enable such land to be easily identified, and state the nature and duration of the interest proposed to be acquired in such land. If such notice relates to the acquisition of an ancillary right, it must state the nature of such right, the land or other property in respect of which such right is proposed to be acquired and the period for which such right is proposed to be acquired.

The Minister shall be liable to pay compensation for any land or ancillary right acquired under a working facility acquisition order. All claims for compensation payable may be made any time within six months or such longer period altogether not exceeding 12 months as the Minister may in any particular case allow after the date of the order, and no such claim shall be entertained unless made within that period.

The Minister may, upon the grant of a petroleum lease or at any time during the term granted by the lease, grant to the lessee a permit, [1250] on such terms and such conditions as the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance determines, to use any land or ancillary right which has been acquired by the working facilities acquisition order. The person to whom the permit is granted must repay the Minister the costs incurred by the Minister.

159. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he will give a detailed definition of the foreshore area for the gas and associated discharge pipelines at the Dooncarton side of Broadhaven Bay, County Mayo. [17179/01]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): Foreshore is the land and seabed between the high water of ordinary or medium tides – shown HWM on Ordnance Survey maps – and the 12 mile limit. The proposed route so far by Enterprise Oil for the Corrib field offshore pipeline and umbilical would make landfall on the Dooncarton side of Broadhaven Bay, a short distance south west of the sand dunes.

Enterprise Oil has applied separately for permission to conduct site investigation works later this summer along a 50 metre wide x 1000 metre long corridor about one kilometre offshore, north of Dooncarton. The pipeline is intended to be buried in a three metre deep trench passing through this area. The site investigation works will determine the extent of bedrock in the area in order to ascertain the excavation methods which will later need to be employed if the development is allowed to proceed. The proposed site investigation works were advertised in local and national newspapers during the month of May.

A definitive route has not yet been identified by Enterprise Oil for a discharge pipeline and outfall. My Department has requested further information before proceeding with consideration of the foreshore licence application. Enterprise Oil is currently preparing a supplementary report to the original environmental impact statement which will provide more detailed information on the intended route of the discharge pipeline. The supplement will also provide additional information on the exact point and method of landfall for the gas pipeline and will be made available to the public. The date for completion of the supplement is a matter for Enterprise Oil.

160. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he has received the revised offshore environmental impact study regarding the Corrib field; and, if so, when it will be made available to the public. [17180/01]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): I have not yet received a revised environmental impact statement, EIS, from Enterprise Energy Ireland, EEI, in connection with the Corrib development. I understand that Enterprise Energy Ireland is preparing a revised EIS which will be submitted in support of both [1251] its applications for a foreshore licence and in the context of the submission of the plan of development for my approval.

The EIS will be available for inspection by the public. When the EIS is formally submitted to me, a notice in daily newspapers will be published to this effect by Enterprise Energy Ireland. The public will have one month from the date of publication of the notice in newspapers for making submissions or observations to me in relation to the effects on the environment of the proposed development.