Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) and the Corrib Gas Controversy
James J. Kennelly, Skidmore College
Trevor Mengel, Skidmore College
This is one of the biggest stories in the country. . . . Either corporate rule will continue to dictate in this country, or the will of the people.
Maura Harrington of the Shell to Sea Campaign, June 2, 20091
. . . Has my vision of Shell being an accepted and welcome part of the community become a reality? Not fully. But I believe we are on the right path. . . . I hope that in another two years, when gas from the Corrib field is fuelling homes and businesses around the country, that we will have shown—through our actions and safe delivery of the Corrib project—that this vision will be well on the way to being a reality.
Terry Nolan, Managing Director, Shell E&P Ireland, May 3, 20082
ppointed deputy managing director of Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL) in May 2006,
Terry Nolan had looked forward to returning home to Ireland.3 Twenty eight years earlier, like many well-educated Irish of his generation, he had left an
Ireland that languished in the economic doldrums and offered few career opportunities to embark on an international career with Royal Dutch Shell. He had worked abroad ever since.
His Irish nationality was not irrelevant to his selection for the post. After all, his primary responsibility was to help successfully deliver the Corrib gas project, of which Shell owned a 45 percent share and was the operating partner. It was a project that had gone awry, as Shell faced determined resistance from those who wished to see the gas processed at sea rather than ashore. The project had been delayed for years, and Shell’s reputation with some in both the local community and further afield had suffered. Completion of the project remained a formidable challenge. Trust was in short supply, emotions ran high, and dialogue with those opposed to the project had become virtually impossible.
Trying to spearhead