Written Answers. - Corrib Gas Field.

Michael Ring

Question:

145 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he will give consideration to the requirement, as perceived by An Taisce, that a full and comprehensive plan for decommissioning be prepared before licensing the Corrib gas field project for development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7525/01]

It will be the responsibility of the lessee to make provision for and to carry out the decommissioning of fixed facilities. The licensee will be required to submit a written plan for ministerial approval setting out proposals for the abandonment of the field. Provisions relating to decommissioning will be included in any petroleum lease issued by me. I will give careful consideration to the views of An Taisce when finalising those provisions.

Michael Ring

Question:

146 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he is taking on board the advice tendered by An Taisce, particularly the worry expressed that it is unsafe to license any such development for the Corrib gas field in the absence of an environmental and ecological survey and assessment, a national biodiversity plan, and a strategic environmental impact assessment statement for offshore oil and gas activity in Irish waters. [7526/01]

Michael Ring

Question:

147 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he will publish the advice given to his Department by An Taisce, in its commentary of March 2000 on the proposed environmental statement from a company (details supplied) long in advance of the environmental impact statement submitted by Enterprise Energy Ireland; and if he will direct An Taisce to provide the concerned parties in north Mayo with a copy of the documents which would enable them to compare An Taisce's requirements with the pub lished environmental impact statement in order to allay their fears somewhat. [7527/01]

I propose taking Questions Nos. 146 and 147 together.

Enterprise Energy Ireland which proposes to develop the Corrib gas field sought from me some time ago in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act, 1960, a written opinion on the information to be contained in an environmental impact statement which must accompany its plan of development for the field. To assist me in preparing this opinion, I consulted with An Taisce which is a prescribed body under the 1960 Act to which the environmental impact statement must be furnished for comment. The information received from An Taisce was incorporated in my written opinion which I furnished to Enterprise Energy Ireland. It is expected that this opinion will be considered by Enterprise Energy Ireland in the context of preparing its EIS to accompany its plan of development. On receipt of this EIS I will then refer it to An Taisce for comment. There is nothing to prevent An Taisce making public the advice it gave me in relation to the carrying out of an EIS by Enterprise Energy Ireland.