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Gas restored in Mayo and Galway as probe launched into Shell Corrib breach

Clean supply has been restored to a number of area following the incident.

File photo of the processing plant at Bellanaboy in north Mayo.
File photo of the processing plant at Bellanaboy in north Mayo.
Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Updated at 7.35pm

THE INDEPENDENT ENERGY regulator has confirmed that a full investigation will take place into how a quantity of odourless gas got into the gas network.

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) confirmed last night that a full investigation into the causes behind how non-odourised gas got introduced into the local gas network in the Galway & Mayo area will take place.

This followed confirmation of a technical breach at the Shell Corrib gas processing plant in north Mayo which led to the incident.

Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) customers in Galway, Tuam, Headford, Ballinrobe, Claremorris, Castlebar, Westport, Crossmolina and Ballina were affected by the incident and told to turn off their supply.

Supply has now been fully restored to all areas.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said that the investigation should be carried out immediately.

“I welcome this investigation and I call for it to be commenced without delay,” Ring – who is a Mayo TD – said.

People in Mayo and Galway deserve an explanation of how this was allowed to happen and of the actions to be taken to ensure it cannot happen again.

Flaring 

The Corrib gas plant flared throughout the night on Thursday as the odourless gas was pumped back to the processing plant and burnt off.

In a statement yesterday, Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL) – which operates the plant – said that work was ongoing to the remove the odourless gas from the network.

A spokesperson said that all operations at the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal continued as normal and an investigation had been launched into the incident.

An internal investigation has commenced and SEPIL is working with the necessary authorities and GNI to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring yesterday said that he was “extremely concerned” over how the odourless gas managed to enter the wider network and called for a full investigation.

The Corrib gas project met with strong local resistance when it first began operating.

Locals in the area cited safety and environmental concerns with the project and large-scale and multiple demonstrations were regularly held.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Read: ‘We were given guarantees’: Minister calls for investigation after odourless gas enters public supply

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