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    Drilling for Coal in Dublin Bay!

    December 1, 2009

    Or, just east of the Kish Bank to be more accurate.  The newly built dynamically positioned drillship Fugro Synergy is due to commence drilling operations for VP Power in the Kish Basin, approximately 13.5 Nautical miles east of Bray Head on or around 7 December 2009.


    Three red dots show drilling locations

    The wells will be shallow coal exploration drilling to a primary target in the Upper Carboniferous Westphalian B/C formation, a really old layer of rock.

    VP Power has contracted the Synergy to drill three exploration wells on the Kish Basin in Dublin Bay. The job is to verify the amount and quality of coal in place for a future Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project. The deepest well will be drilled to 3,600 ft.
    Notice to Mariners

    Fugro Synergy drill ship

    Fugro Synergy drill ship

    The Kish Basin prospect, close to the lighthouse of the same name, is said to hold up to 2bn tonnes of “clean” gas-from-coal energy that could power scores of power stations for many years.

    VP Power, which has held an exploration license across large sections of the Kish Basin for the last two years, is led by the Dun Laoghaire marina developer Michael O’Leary (no relation to Ryanair CEO), and chairman Con Casey, managing partner of accountants LHM Casey McGrath.

    Clean technology, called underground coal gassification, that heats the coal in the underwater rock reservoirs to extract gas, has been proven in other parts of the world, say the investors.

    Sunday Tribue article.

    Underground coal gasification (UCG) is an industrial process, which enables coal to be converted into product gas. UCG is an in-situ gasification process carried out in non-mined coal seams using injection of oxidants, and bringing the product gas to surface through production wells drilled from the surface. The product gas could to be used as a chemical feedstock or as fuel for power generation. The technique can be applied to resources that are otherwise not economical to extract and also offers an alternative to conventional coal mining methods for some resources. Compared to the traditional coal mining and gasification, the UCG has less environmental and social impact.  Wiki article

    If the tests prove positive, will the Shell to Sea campaingers move to Dalkey?

    Topics: Miscellany | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Drilling for Coal in Dublin Bay!”

    1. Greg Burke Says:
      December 1st, 2009 at

      “will the Shell to Sea campaigners move to Dalkey?”

      If the exploitation of this resource is deemed to require that an experimental high pressure gas pipeline, pumping raw gas at a pressures many times greater that of the largest bord gáis pipeline, through an unstable bog landscape past a few roads, houses and a school, then maybe they will.

      Otherwise why would they?