herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

This is the 'unsightly' oil rig that's got Dalkey residents up in arms

THIS is what the controversial oil rig of Dalkey Islands will look like.

Concern is growing about the size and location of the oil rig -- but the designers have released this picture suggesting it will barely be a blip on the horizon.

South Dublin business representatives and residents have called a series of meetings. They are worried that it could damage marine wildlife.

Dublin-based Providence Resources, along with its partner, is seeking a foreshore licence to further explore the potential of an oil or gas prospect approximately 6km off the Dalkey coast in the Kish Bank Basin.

Providence said that the initial activity of site and seismic surveys would likely be in region of 15 days, followed by 30 to 60 days for drilling.

"The activities to be undertaken are relatively low key, with the survey being undertaken by one or two vessels and the subsequent drilling operation by a 'jack up' rig," it explained.

But already a group of residents and interested parties have set up petition online, garnering hundreds of signatures objecting to the plan.



NOISY

Protectourcoast.net said this was a particularly fragile ecosystem close to the capital's coastline.

"Residents of Dalkey and Killiney are concerned with protecting their beautiful area from the prospect of industrial waste, a large rig and noisy industrial traffic and a no-go area for fishermen or sailors so close to Dalkey Island," a spokesman for the organisation said.

Their main concerns are chemical, visual and noise pollution which they say will not only disturb residents of Dalkey, but marine life, particularly dolphins and whales who have a very sensitive aural system.

They are also concerned that the development could lower house prices.

"Shipping restrictions would be in place around the rig. Increased noise pollution, sea traffic and helicopters may drive the dolphin residents out," he added.

"The rig would create an unwelcome industrial seascape."

Dalkey Business Association chairman Jason McChesney said they were keen to get all parties to the table as early as possible.

"By people not being aware and understanding things, they think the worst," the spokesman said.

"We have the famous dolphins and a lot of bird life in the area and people want to find out what's happening, have their questions answered and calm the situation down. We just want to get the info and share it with everyone here. We have approached the company and we hope that they will respond to our invitation to attend meetings."

But Mr McChesney added that they believed there were positives to take from the development. "If there is an oil discovery, it could be beneficial to the local area," he added.



IMPACT

Providence has produced a series of newsletters and an environmental impact statement.

"We are in the middle of a public consultation and we would encourage people to take part," a representative said.

Further information is available at www.providenceresources.com and www.protectourcoast.net.

hnews@herald.ie

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