Initial studies by Australian energy company Tamboran Resources have confirmed that a substantial natural gas field is present in north County Leitrim and south-west County Fermanagh. According to Tamboran, which proposes to invest up to Eur7 billion following completion of the first part of its analysis to determine the feasibility of shale gas exploration in Ireland, a gas exploration project could create 600 full time jobs, up to 2,400 indirect jobs and deliver substantial natural gas energy volumes for the next 40 years.
Formed in 2009, Tamboran is currently a privately held company focused on global unconventional oil and gas exploration and development. Tamboran’s technical team of over 20 professionals have been involved in substantial natural gas projects worldwide and have very high confidence that they can commercially develop this project in Ireland. The full analysis will be published by the end of this year.
Tamboran, which last year was granted a Licensing Option by the Department of Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources, is focusing its Ireland operations in the northern area of County Leitrim. The company has been granted an Exploration Licence in an adjacent area in Northern Ireland where it is focusing on southwest County Fermanagh. The north-west region of Ireland is the only part of the island which is not currently connected to the gas network.
Outlining its initial analysis, which was based on its own and other recent studies, Tamboran identifies a range of potential economic and energy benefits for Ireland from the project, including:
* Potential for ultimate production of up to 2.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas;
* Significantly improved natural gas security of supply and a substantial reduction in imports for over 40 years. Ireland has a greater than 90% dependency on imported gas for its daily consumption needs, from which nearly 60% of Ireland’s electricity is generated;
* The creation of 600 direct jobs and an estimated 2,400 indirect jobs in County Leitrim;
* Tax revenues of up to Eur4.9 billion (including corporation tax, Vat, employment taxes and exploration tax).
Describing the project as a potential energy and economic game changer for Ireland, Richard Moorman, chief executive of Tamboran, says: “Our initial analysis suggests very substantial shale gas reserves in the north Leitrim area. Allowing for even modest rates of recovery, the energy and economic benefits would be tremendous.”
He continues: “Security of energy supply is a primary concern for all governments. Our analysis indicates that the island of Ireland is in the fortunate position to have substantial gas reserves under its feet. In north Leitrim alone, we believe that there could be up to 12 years of the present daily gas consumption of Ireland. Realising these resources would secure gas supply for decades, protect consumers and businesses from market uncertainty and negate the risks associated with being over dependent on unpredictable external supplies.”
Subject to an exploration licence being granted by the Irish authorities, Tamboran believes exploration drilling could commence by 2014 with the potential for commercial development to commence a few years later.