Northern Ireland news

Tamboran revises fracking application in Co Fermanagh

Fracking is a controversial method of shale gas extraction. Picture by Dave Thompson/PA Wire

AN energy company has withdrawn plans to use the controversial fracking method to explore for shale gas in Co Fermanagh.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds told the assembly yesterday that Tamboran had amended its application for an exploration licence.

The minister was speaking as MLAs debated a motion calling for an immediate end to licensing for oil and gas exploration, in line with policy adopted in the Republic and Britain.

Mrs Dodds said Tamboran sought to revise its fracking plan and a separate conventional exploration proposal following a public consultation to which there were 5,700 responses.

"Following its own review of the responses received, one of the applicant companies, Tamboran Resources UK Ltd, made a request to the department to revise its application," she said.

"The proposed revision will remove the need for fracking, very much a direct result of the strength of opposition to this controversial technique, highlighted by the respondents to the consultation process."

Mrs Dodds said her department was considering Tamboran's new proposal alongside a separate licence application.

She also said she was pushing ahead with a publicly-funded research into the implications of oil and gas exploration, which will cost £75,000.

Sinn Féin's Philip McGuigan said MLAs had declared a climate emergency and supported a climate act.

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