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Corrib Gas Newsletter - March 2010


gas update

ISSUE 27. MARCH 2010




to continue

for further

three years

The Corrib Gas Partners have announced

that the successful Erris Third-Level

Scholarship Programme is to continue

for a further three-year period. The

announcement was made by Shell’s

Mayo Area manager, Mark Carrigy, at

the annual scholars’ function in Carne

Golf Club at the end of January.

The scholarships were introduced in 2007, as

part of the Corrib Gas Partners’ community

investment programme in Erris, and in the three

years of the scheme’s existence a total of 31

students from the four second-level colleges in

the community have benefited.

The successful applicants are awarded grants of

€4,000 each per year for the duration of their

chosen course. In total, the initial three-year

programme cost approximately €450,000.

Mr Carrigy said he was pleased that, following

a review of the initial programme, SEPIL had

decided to continue for another three years.

“Investment in the education of young people is

important for the future of every community and I

am delighted that we will be able to play a small

part in the continued growth and development

of Erris through this very worthwhile scheme,”

he said.

The review was conducted by the Independent

The 2009 scholarship winners are pictured with members of the Scholarship Board and SEPIL, at a recent

celebratory dinner at Carne Golf Club. Back row (l to r): David Barrett (Our Ladyʼs), Micheál Forde (St

Patrickʼs), Christy Loftus (SEPIL), Deborah Garvin (Coláiste Chomáin), James Doherty (St Brendanʼs). Middle:

Fr Kevin Hegarty, Christina McAndrew (St Brendanʼs), Elaine Doherty (St Brendanʼs), Seán Staunton (Board

Chairperson), Tony McGarry. Front: Breda Holmes, Dara Mangan (Our Ladyʼs), Ian McAndrew, Rachel

Gunning (Coláiste Chomáin), Mark Carrigy, Gráinne Conway (Our Ladyʼs) and Fiona Togher.

Scholarship Board, under the chairmanship of

Seán Staunton. The review concluded that ten

scholarships of €4,000 each would again be

on offer to students attending Coláiste Chomáin,

Ros Dumhach; Our Lady’s Secondary School,

Belmullet; St Brendan’s College, Belmullet, and

St Patrick’s, Lacken Cross.

An important departure from the initial

programme will see the scholarships opened

up to all students completing their Leaving Certs

at any of the qualifying colleges in 2010. For

the last three years the programme was open

only to students pursuing courses in certain


Scholarship Board chairman Seán Staunton

paid tribute to SEPIL for agreeing to fund the

programme for another three-year period.

“The scholarships are much sought-after and

prized by the students. Over the three years there

has been an excellent standard of application

and great credit is due to the students, their

teachers and their parents for their efforts,” he


The closing date for applications this year is

Friday, April 16, and application forms will

be available soon in the four colleges, from

the Corrib Natural Gas office in Belmullet and

online at

The members of the scholarship Board are:

Seán Staunton (Chairman), Westport; Breda

Holmes, Geesala; Fr Kevin Hegarty, Carne;

Ian McAndrew, Belmullet, and Tony McGarry,


SEPIL explores route through Sruwaddacon Bay

Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) is

investigating the design of a section

of the onshore pipeline through

Sruwaddacon Bay, in response to

An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) request for

further information of November 2


The letter from the Board expressed reservations

about the route through Rossport and the

proposed pipeline’s proximity to housing.

ABP suggested that SEPIL consider a route that

included a section through Sruwaddacon Bay

and requested that a revised Environmental

Impact Statement (EIS) be submitted, reflecting

this. This new information has to be sent to ABP

by 31 May, 2010.

Managing Director Terry Nolan is clear that

SEPIL has ‘absolute confidence in the safety

of the pipeline design as originally proposed’.

However, he says the company is committed

to addressing, as fully as possible, all matters

raised by An Bord Pleanála in its request for

further information.

As part of the technical considerations related

to the onshore pipeline, SEPIL has submitted

an application for a foreshore licence to drill a

number of boreholes in Sruwaddacon Bay.

Mayo quartet

to complete


Four young Mayo men employed at the

Bellanaboy terminal are set to expand

their apprentices training experience.

Kieran Barrett, Belmullet; Clement Sweeney,

Glengad; Justin Hargreaves, Lahardaun, and

Alan McDonnell, Foxford commenced work on

the gas terminal at Bellanaboy in 2007.

Now Mercury Engineering and Castlebar based

contractor Tony McManamon have combined

forces to provide an opportunity to complete their


Under an arrangement agreed with the contractor

they have commenced Phase 3 training, which

provides on-the-job experience. They started as

apprentices with Mercury in Cathal Shevlin’s

workshop in Belmullet doing pre-fabrication work

and since then have divided their time between

the terminal site and Sligo IT.

Mercury Engineering is the appointed contractor

Mark Carrigy

appointed Mayo

Area Manager

Pictured is Mark Carrigy, who has

assumed the role of Mayo Area Manager

with the Corrib gas project. Mark will

divide his time between the terminal,

where he is the Operations Manager,

and the office in Belmullet. A native of

Donegal, Mark studied as a mechanical


On leaving university, he first worked in the

electricity-generating industry, commissioning

power stations in the UK and further afield. He

joined Shell in 1990 working on drilling rigs

and production platforms in the UK sector of the

North Sea.

Mark joined the Corrib project in 2001 as

the Operations Manager. In that role he has

responsibility for recruiting the permanent staff

who will operate the Corrib facilities, training the

staff and ensuring all operating and maintenance

The four apprentices are pictured with Ronnie Christie of Mercury Engineering, from left: Clement

Sweeney, Alan McDonnell, Justin Hargreaves and Kieran Barrett.

for the construction of the onshore gas reception

terminal at Ballanaboy Bridge, carrying out

Mechanical, Electrical and Instrumentation works

for the process areas and for the off-site and

utilities areas.

The scope of work includes all piping, cable and

equipment installation and Mercury engaged

with local contractor Cathal Shevlin Engineering

to carry out the pre-fabrication of various systems

including closed drains, plant air and potable


Mark Carrigy, Mayo Area Manager

plans are in place in advance of the start of gas

production from Corrib. He will be responsible

for the day-to-day running of the Bellanaboy

terminal when it goes into operation.

Following a recent trade assessment, it emerged

that the apprentices were lacking in the domestic

plumbing side of their syllabus because the nature

of their work on the terminal was industrial.

They will now work with Tony McManamon to

gain experience in such areas as sanitary ware

installation, copper pipework, soil and waste

pipework, radiator fixing, hot water cylinder

installation and boiler installation.




A series of vital tests to prove the integrity

of the pipework and systems on the

Bellanaboy terminal site is planned to

commence this weekend, March 5 to 7.

The testing will continue, most likely, up

to the end of May.

The process involves pressurising sections of each

system with a nitrogen-helium mixture and then

checking the joints to be satisfied that the system

is leak-tight. When the testers are satisfied that

a given section is leak-free that section is vented


The tests are taking place late in the evening and

through the night. Most of the venting will happen

at night-time/early morning and at weekends.

The noise levels throughout the testing process

will be within the conditions laid down by Mayo

County Council.

Over €5,000 raised for Haiti

Members of SEPILʼs Bellanaboy and Belmullet

staff organised a collection to help relieve the

distress caused to the people of Haiti following

the recent disastrous earthquake.

Pictured with the GOAL cheque for €5,332,

which was raised from voluntary contributions

by staff at the Bellanaboy terminal and the

Belmullet office, are the organisers of the

collection, from left: Mary Barrett, SEPIL HSE

Systems Co-Ordinator; Angela Tallott, PM Site

Secretary; Ciara Hynes, PM Administration

Manager; Ann Mylotte, Artec Facilities

Management, and Cliona Sinnott, SEPIL

Terminal Business Support.

Over 2,000 visit Bellanaboy site

A feature of the construction of the

Bellanaboy terminal has been the interest

shown in the project by local people. Since

the job started in October 2007 over 2,000

people have visited the site.

These include many people from Erris who

availed of the monthly tours organised by

community liaison officers John Cronin and

Mary Carolan in co-operation with members

of the site staff.

The visits also included many local elected

representives, media, business leaders,

community groups, members of the Institute

of Engineers of Ireland and student groups

from third level colleges.

Our photo shows a local group visiting the

site on January 30 this year.

Applications under Local Grants Programme on the rise

Eighty-six applications for funding

under the January round of the Corrib

Natural Gas Local Grants Programme

(LGP) were received by the closing date

of Friday, February 12.

The LGP is open to all Erris-based clubs, service

providers and sporting and cultural organisations

which can demonstrate that their projects meet the

criteria of being local, inclusive and sustainable.

Grants of between €1,000 and €10,000 may be

allocated and priority is given to the Kilcommon

parish where the terminal is located.

As well as Shell, the programme is supported by

the main contractors on the Bellanaboy terminal

including PM Group, Roadbridge Ltd, Mercury

Engineering Ltd, SIAC Butler Steel Ltd, Kilcawley

Construction Ltd and Hertel Ireland Ltd.

The breakdown of applications shows that there

were applications from Kilcommon (11), Kilmore

(16), Kiltane (15) and from Belmullet (19) with

additional applications from Ballycroy and Erriswide


The LGP is run on behalf of the Corrib Gas

Partners by Ms Fiona Togher, Community

Investment Advisor, who expressed satisfaction

with the number of applications.

“The demand for funding this year is up again on

last year and reflects the difficulties that voluntary

organisations face in these more challenging

economic times,” said Fiona.

She added that there will be a second round of

funding made available later in the year.

Clubs who missed the deadline for the January

round will be able to apply in July.

Barry Pryor

Barry Pryor

The death occurred suddenly on

February 10 in Harold Wood, Essex,

of Barry Pryor, a highly-regarded and

greatly-respected member of the Shell

design staff on the Bellanaboy gas


Barry’s death came as a shock to his wife

Brenda, to whom he was married for more than

40 years, his two daughters Kate and Liz, his

mother, two brothers and son-in-law, as well

as to the many colleagues and friends he had

made during his working life.

Barry joined the Corrib gas project with

Enterprise Oil over a decade ago. He joined

Shell in 2002, mainly working from Dublin

and more recently on the terminal site at


When he joined the team on the terminal and

came to reside in Belmullet, Barry mixed easily

with the community and quickly became a

valued member of the local bridge club.

His interest in bridge brought him into contact

with the local community and his relaxed and

easy style soon won him many friends. He

also had a keen and knowledgeable interest

in horseracing, cricket, football and modern

jazz and was also a wine buff with a particular

interest in Italian wines.

Members of the terminal workforce and the staff

of the Belmullet and Dublin offices stood in silent

tribute to Barry’s memory on Thursday, February

11. The funeral took place on February 23.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Castlebar man

joins Shell


Castlebar native Simon Stanton has

joined Shell E&P Ireland Limited as

Commercial Manager. Prior to joining

Shell, Simon spent five years in

engineering and commercial roles in

Japan and the US.

Since joining Shell in London in 2001, he has

held various marketing and strategy roles in the

downstream business.

From 2006 he was with Shell Gas and Power

in The Hague, where he was mainly involved in

the development of new business ventures in coal


He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from

Trinity College Dublin and also has a Masters

from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business

in UCD. Simon’s wife is Dutch and he has two

young daughters.

He enjoys learning languages,watching rugby

and has ambitions to improve his golf while

home in Ireland.

Professional profile — John Cronin, CLO

Name: John Cronin

Job title: Community Liason Officer

Native of: Carne, Belmullet

Where did you go to school?

Binghamstown N.S., Our Lady’s Secondary

School and St Brendan’s Vocational school

What did you want to be when you

were at school?

There was very little career guidance in my day.

My main concern was to get away from the farm

and milking cows.

What was your first job?

I took a job in a factory in Galway and then

worked for the ESB in Dublin for a short time

before joining Collen Brothers as a plant fitter

on the East Wall terminal. I learned there that

welding provided the opportunity to make good

money, and I undertook a pipe welding course

in ANCO- the forerunner to FÁS.

How did you get involved in the oil and

gas industry?

In the early ‘70s North Sea oil was in it’s infancy.

I was working as a welder in England and I

decided to try my luck in Scotland. I had a contact

number for Brown and Root in Invergordon and I

was soon working in a fabrication yard building

offshore platforms. I worked on the first platform

for BP’s Forties Field.

Where have you worked in the world

and in what roles?

In 1975 I went from Scotland to St John, New

Brunswick in Canada to work on the Irving Oil

Refinery. From Canada I went wherever the

job opportunities arose and I spent some time

in Mozambique on a major pipeline from the

port of Beira on the Indian ocean right into

an oil refinery at Mutari, Zimbabwe. I worked

for a while in South Africa and returned to

Zimbabwe as a welding foreman with Lonhro.

In 1984 I returned to Aberdeen to work for

AOC International. This provided me with the

opportunity to branch out into the world of

offshore hook-ups and the recruitment of teams

for offshore work. In that capacity I was again

involved in places such as Brunei, Malasia,

Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia,


What have been the highlights of your

career, and why?

It was a great experience to work in these

countries and I was privileged to be in a position

John Cronin has 40 years of experience in

the global oil and gas industry.

to help orphanages and community development

projects. In Azerbaijan we set up an Irish Society

and inaugurated the St Patrick’s Day ball in Baku.

At one of these balls I had the British Ambassador

Roger Thomas and his wife as my guests and on

another occasion we brought out a band from

Tipperary for the St Patrick’s Day fundraiser. We

raised huge amounts of money all of which went

into worthy local causes. The Irish Society still exists

in Baku and last year raised €54,000 to continue

the work with local projects. In Kazakhstan we set

up a welding school in Tengiz and later expanded

it to include pipefitting and rigging to facilitate

training for local people wishing to work in oil

and gas industry. In Brunei we set up a welder

testing facility and as a result of those training

programmes the Ministry of Education presented

me with a certificate of acknowledgement. These

were some of the most satisfying ventures of my

working career.

Tell us something about the people you

met along the way.

One of the most enduring memories I have is the

friendliness of the local people many of whom had

very little but what they had they were prepared to

share with people such as myself. In return we tried

to share our knowledge and training with them.

We empowered many people to take up jobs in

oil and gas. In all of these travels I have to say

I never encountered anything but goodwill and

appreciation from the people I met.

What do you most enjoy about being

back in Erris?

After a decade in Central Asia I went to Mexico

working on the oil industry in the Bay of

Campeche. While I was working there I heard of

the Corrib Gas find and I was offered a position

by Enterprise Oil. I suppose I was getting over

the travel bug and I was also challenged by the

prospect of returning to work at the industry I

had spent my life in so I was pleased to accept

the offer that enabled me to re-connect with my

home place.

What advice would you give to anyone

starting out in the working world?

Don’t expect that you will have a “eureka”

moment and find the ideal job. Continue

learning, especially languages, embrace

technology, above all develop “safe working”

as a way of life and take care of your health

Be flexible, always understand what your boss

wants achieved before you tackle the job

What do you intend to do when you

leave the Corrib project?

Relax, develop my gardening and cooking skills

and drink Guinness.

John Cronin is retiring from the Corrib

project later this month. He has been

working as a Community Liaison Officer

here in Erris for the last eight years, during

which time he has re-established many links

he had in his native community prior to his

travels. Through his warm and engaging

personality, he has also built strong and

deep relationships with numerous other

individuals and groups within the Erris

community, all based on mutual respect

and a mutual desire to see the community


He has also gained the respect and goodwill

of the many colleagues he has worked with

over the years, all of whom have benefited

from his knowledge and understanding of

the community and his generosity in sharing

his knowledge and experience.

John is wished well in the future by his many

colleagues and friends on the project.




Many positive initiatives have been

taken on the Corrib project to highlight

the importance of health and safety, but

one of the most impressive, effective

and moving was provided by James

Gorry when he addressed workers at

Bellanaboy and Belmullet.

For 25 years James ran his own construction

company. In October 2005, his life was

dramatically changed following life-threatening

injuries when he fell through a roof.

He is now a Health and Safety Presenter who

conveys a dramatic message to his audiences:

“I don’t want what happened to me to happen

to you.”

As a result of the fall, he spent a year in hospital.

Two months of that year were spent in intensive

care; the rest of the time he spent in rehabilitation

in Dun Laoghaire.

In very simple, plain language he spoke of his

accident, his injuries, his fight-back to health,

his moments of dark despair, his good times,

the impact on his family, the burden he placed

James Gorry delivers powerful safety message

on others and, most importantly, the necessity to

take simple safety precautions when working on

any stage of a construction project.

For more information contact:

Christy Loftus, Corrib Project Information Office,

Belmullet, County Mayo. Tel. 00 353 (0)97-27100

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