Northern Ireland test drilling draws anti-fracking protest
22 July 2014
On July 21 several hundred people took part in an anti-fracking protest at a site near Belcoo in County Fermanagh. Tamboran Resources, the operator on the site, has plans to drill an exploratory 750m deep borehole to collect rock samples at the site. If the samples show commercially viable levels of gas, the company will begin a process that could lead to fracking.
In 2011, Tamboran was granted a petroleum licence for an initial five-year period from the Department of Enterprise to explore for natural gas in Fermanagh. The collection of rock samples is a requirement of the work programme set out by government within the licence.
The company said if it found significant amounts of gas, the government of Northern Ireland would have to give clearance for fracking to take place at the site.
Protesters called for an end to drilling because of environmental worries and a lack of consultation with local communities.