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    Flagship Irish Gas Field Reaches End of Life


Kinsale Head and the adjacent Ballycotton and Seven Heads fields were Ireland's only source of domestic gas supply for decades.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Flagship Irish Gas Field Reaches End of Life

The Kinsale area gas fields off Ireland have ceased production after 42 years, the Irish Offshore Operators Association (IOOA) announced on July 6.

The fields' operator, PSE Kinsale Energy, has confirmed that all necessary measures are completed to safely decommission the facilities, the IOOA said. PSE is a subsidiary of Malaysia's Petronas.

The Celtic Sea fields, which comprise Kinsale Head, Ballycotton and Seven Heads, have been flowing gas since 1978 and until 2015, were Ireland's only source of domestic gas supply. That year the Corrib gas field entered production.

IOOA CEO Mandy Johnston commented that over the decades, the fields had been "a mainstay of the economy in the Cork region, a catalyst for many industries and provided Ireland with a reliable, secure, clean and safe source of energy."

The shutdown of the fields comes after Ireland's new coalition government seeks to ban the issue of new gas exploration and production licences, preventing the discovery of fields similar in size to Kinsale Head and Corrib. Corrib, which is in decline, accounts for 95% of Irish gas production, according to the operator, Canada's Vermilion Energy.

The government has also taken aim at LNG import projects, pledging to block those expected to receive fracked gas. This means Ireland could find itself increasingly reliant on imports from the UK. Some of the gas in the UK grid though will have originated in the US, where onshore fracking is a way of life for shale producers.