The Corrib Story

  • 18.5% non-operated interest in the Corrib Gas Field
  • Corrib Gas Field is forecast to supply up to 60% of Ireland's gas at peak supply
  • Vermilion is committed to being a key contributor to Ireland's oil & gas industry

The Corrib gas project is the largest energy infrastructure development ever undertaken in Ireland.

Over the past decade, in excess of 6,000 people from more than 300 Irish companies have worked together to bring the gas ashore. Soon it will be powering Irish homes and businesses. 

Read on to discover more about the Corrib project.

Corrib Gas Project Development

Bringing Corrib gas, a valuable natural resource, to the Irish market posed an exciting engineering challenge. Located some 83 kilometres off the northwest coast of Ireland, the gas is located approximately 3,000 metres below the seabed, in a water depth of almost 350 metres.

The Corrib Gas Pipeline

The pipeline from the Corrib field to the gas terminal at Bellanaboy Bridge is just over 90 kilometres in length. Approximately 83 kilometres of this is offshore linking the wells at the Corrib field to the landfall at Glengad.  The remaining 9 kilometres of onshore pipeline link the landfall at Glengad to the gas terminal at Bellanaboy, County Mayo.

Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal

Natural gas consists principally of methane and is often found together with water or other hydrocarbon gas and liquids. The gas we use in our homes for cooking and heating is processed, or dried, by removing all liquids and most other hydrocarbon gas. Gas from the Corrib field is a dry gas containing only small quantities of liquids. The main purpose of the Bellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal is to process and dry the gas by removing liquids so that it is suitable to flow into the Bord Gáis Eireann (BGE) pipeline network. The control room within the terminal controls the flow of gas from the offshore wells through to the terminal process systems and into the BGE network. 

Corrib Economic Benefits

The major challenge facing the global energy system is meeting the rising demand for energy resulting from a growing population and increased living standards while simultaneously reducing the environmental impacts such as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.  Corrib will deliver more than 60% of Ireland's gas needs, at peak production.  Ireland currently imports more than 90% of its gas and generates two thirds of its electricity from gas.

Natural gas is a flexible fuel which is relatively efficient for electricity generation. A gas-fired plant takes less time to start and stop than a coal-fired plant.  This makes gas the ideal partner for intermittent energy sources like wind and solar, especially as gas is currently used to generate over half of our electricity.

Natural gas is being put to an increasing range of uses. In Ireland, natural gas is mainly used in electricity generation: to power homes and businesses. But new markets are now opening up for natural gas where increasingly it’s being used as an alternative to diesel and heavy fuel oil in transportation.

There are challenges and uncertainties that influence the supply of gas to Europe. Should supply lines be restricted or constrained for periods in the future, those most likely to be hit first and hardest are those on periphery of the continent – like Ireland. In such circumstances the measure of self-sufficiency that Corrib contributes to Ireland will be critical.

Natural gas will also help Ireland move toward a low-carbon future. Energy Minister Alex White has stated that the long-term goal for Ireland is to replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources by 2050. We believe that natural gas will have a key role in Ireland’s journey to a lower-carbon energy system.

The Corrib development has been a long time in the making. The original discovery well was drilled in 1996 and we expect the first gas to be produced this year. When it does come on stream we will have achieved a really important milestone for the oil and gas sector in Ireland, as well as providing much-needed energy security for the country as a whole. 

Environment & Sustainability

The gas in the Corrib field is composed mainly of methane, which has significant environmental benefits when compared to some other fossil fuels.

The demand for gas in Ireland is growing, due principally to its increasing use for electricity power generation. Demand for gas powered electricity generation is expected to continue to grow as other less environmentally friendly fossil fuels are phased out.

Minimizing the environmental impacts of the project has always been an important objective for the Corrib gas field development. This is achieved by ensuring use of the best available technology and the integration of environmental protection practices into the design and construction as well as the operation of all aspects of the project.

Source:  Shell Ireland

Broadhaven Bay
Broadhaven Bay