Across Europe Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plays a huge role in energy security as the number of terminals across the continent increases. Importing LNG from all around the world lessens a country’s dependence on one or a few other countries for their gas supply. Ireland is a country heavily dependent on another country for its gas supply but the recent production of gas from the Corrib field, just off its coast, and the proposed Shannon LNG terminal would significantly diversify its gas suppliers and create greater energy security. This follows on from a number of other countries doing the same thing.
Up until the end of 2015, the International Energy Agency estimated that Ireland was more than 90% dependant on a single transit point in Scotland for its gas supply. Like most European countries, Ireland saw a rise in demand for gas in 2016 which saw them consume around 4.8bcm (billion cubic meters) in that year. With increasing demand, it was fortunate that an alternative source of gas came on-line in December 2015 providing, at 100% output, 10 million cu m/d (cubic meters per day). As this source, the Shell-operated Corrib field, would not last forever, the Irish government backed the development of the Shannon LNG terminal.
The Corrib Field
Located 50 miles west of the Mullet peninsula in County Mayo, the Corrib field is estimated to have a reserve of around one trillion cubic feet. Shell E&P Ireland are the operators of the site in conjunction with Statoil Exploration Ireland and Vermilion Energy Ireland. A pipeline carries the gas from the wells to the Bellanaboy Bridge gas processing terminal in County Mayo. This field is expected to produce gas for the next 15 to 20 years.
To provide longer term energy security, US energy company Hess obtained planning permission for the Shannon LNG terminal but the project ground to a halt in 2015 when the company sold up. The proposed site on the Shannon estuary has access to deep water so would comprise a jetty with the capacity to receive the largest LNG tankers and the site would have up to four LNG storage tankers with a storage capacity of 200,000 cubic metres each. It would have a send-out capacity of up to 28.5 million standard cubic metres per day. Being located on Ireland’s west coast means it is ideally situated to take deliveries of LNG from the USA which is currently experiencing a glut of supply. The new owner of the project is, according to reports, looking for a new investor to make the concept a reality.
If this project does go ahead, it would make a huge difference to Ireland’s energy future and greatly improve their gas buying position as they could source the best priced LNG from all over the world. Ex~I Flow Measurement are well placed as UK based manufacturers of flow measurement equipment to support these kinds of developments. For more information about our services, call +44 (0)1243 554920 or contact us here.