05 August 2014, News Wires – Australia’s Tamboran Resources has condemned an incident in which two petrol bombs were thrown at the home of a site worker employed at its Belcoo shale prospect in Northern Ireland.
The man and his family escaped injury in the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning in Co Fermanagh, which is being investigated by police.
Tamboran Resources branded the incident as “an orchestrated and abhorrent attack on a local family in the middle of the night”.
“We condemn this latest attack that follows a number of unlawful incidents at our Belcoo site and threats that have been made to security staff,” the explorer said.
Campaigners Belcoo Frack Free also condemned the incident and denied any involvement.
Spokesman Donal O’Cofaigh said: “This attack is wrong and we condemn it. Such actions only undermine our goal of putting a halt to shale gas exploration. We ask those responsible to desist immediately. This action is not in our name.”
The Australian explorer has been faced with stiff protests in recent weeks after it announced plans to drill an exploratory borehole to gather core samples to gauge the potential of the Bundoran shale formation.
The company has erected a fence around the site for the borehole, which sits in a former quarry at Gardrum Road, as it awaits a decision from the Department of Environment and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment expected within weeks to allow it to proceed.
The collection of core samples is a requirement of its five-year licence PL 2/10 for the south-west Fermanagh acreage.
Campaigners oppose the operation over the future possibility of hydraulic fracturing on the site as well as the fact that the borehole does not require a full planning permit process.
Tamboran Resources insists that it is “fact-finding, not fracking” and that its operations were “within the terms of the licence it was awarded by the Northern Ireland Executive to explore for natural gas”.
Last year PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in potential reserves lay in Northern Ireland’s Lough Allen shale, much of which is in Fermanagh as well as elsewhere in the north-west.