Northern Ireland has one of the most rigorous environmental regulatory systems. The Royal Society, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others agree that fracturing can be undertaken safely.
“More than 4 million oil and gas related wells have been drilled in the United States since development of these energy resources began nearly 150 years ago. At least 2 million of these have been hydraulically fracture-treated, and up to 95 percent of new wells drilled today are hydraulically fractured, accounting for more than 43 percent of total U.S. oil production and 67 percent of natural gas production.” – How is Shale Gas Produced, US Department of Energy, 2013
In order to comply with the highest standards, we invest in the development of our employees and require the same high standards from our contractors. At our sites, personnel will be fully trained in oil and gas safety practices, processes and facility operations.
Testing for natural gas will be subject to a full planning application including baseline monitoring and an Environmental Impact Statement. As part of this process TRUK will assess, monitor and report on groundwater, air quality, noise emissions, traffic and the potential for seismic activity.
TRUK is committed to the highest environmental standards to ensure the protection of local water resources. The company will liaise closely with the regulators to ensure drilling does not adversely impact on ground or surface water. Details of the design to be used for well casing and the handling of water on site will be agreed with the regulators.
Dust levels around every site are closely monitored and controlled. The main cause of dust can be during drilling and due to vehicle movements. Mitigation measures will be put in place and dust levels have to be within statutory limits. Air quality will be covered extensively in an Environmental Impact Assessment.
All work will be carried out within statutory noise limits. Sites will be selected as far away from dwellings as possible and will be designed to deflect noise away from homes.
After drilling is complete, sites become quiet. Noise mitigation will be covered extensively in an Environmental Impact Assessment.
A traffic management plan will be agreed with the Department for Infrastructure. There will be additional vehicle movements especially during the initial phases of the project, as with any construction project, and the Company will engage with local residents throughout this time. The aim will be to be good neighbours when work is ongoing, listen to what is said and keep any disturbance to a minimum level.
County Fermanagh does not have a history of significant seismic activity. At the gas testing stage, comprehensive seismic monitoring networks will be set up in agreement with the regulators. The Company is always glad to discuss the potential for low level earth tremors during the testing stages. The facts will be given in the planning approval that has to be gained before any hydraulic fracturing takes place.