Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (402)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

402. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the person that owns a site (details supplied) in County Cavan; the person responsible for maintaining this site; if the Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring this site and any emissions that may come from the drilling there; if he will outline the history of ownership and operations at this site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30739/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The matters raised by the Deputy regarding ownership of a site and monitoring of environmental emissions are matters which fall outside the scope of my statutory remit.

My role, pursuant to the Minerals Development Act 1960, extends to the licensing of petroleum exploration activities, including granting consent to the drilling of petroleum exploration and production wells.

The Dowra 2 onshore gas exploration well was drilled in 2001 by Evergreen Resources pursuant to Licence ON2/01.

In drilling Dowra 2, Evergreen employed standard oil industry drilling and testing processes and the well was drilled in accordance with my Department’s Rules and Procedures.

The Dowra 2 well was permanently plugged and abandoned in 2003, in accordance with accepted procedures and as approved by my Department and this work was signed off by the Independent Well Examiner in June 2003. The condition of all below-surface aspects of the well has, therefore, been dealt with satisfactorily. Cavan County confirmed to my Department in August 2003 that the well site was left in a satisfactory condition.

In relation to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this is an independent Agency and the Deputy should contact it directly in relation to any role that it may have.