The locality

The whole of Fermanagh west of Lough Erne, which was targeted for fracking, is an extraordinarily beautiful area.  Attention is especially focused on the area of Fermanagh close to the Marble Arch Caves, an extraordinary system of caves and tunnels that extend for hundreds of kilometres throughout the region and, indeed, across the border into Cavan and Leitrim. The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark contains some of the finest landscapes in the north of Ireland, ranging from rugged uplands, lakes and forests through to gently rolling drumlins.  The target fracking area also included the Cavan Burren and the Cuilceagh Mountains.

The Industry

Tamboran Resources were granted an Exploration Licence in 2011 for the part of the Northwest Carboniferous Basin that extends through Fermanagh.  Such plans included deep drilling to the shale layers and analysis of core samples and trials of hydraulic fracturing.  The plans* for the Fermanagh target area included:

  • a takeover of 100,000 acres in the first phase
  • construction of 120 7-acre pads with up to 24 wells each
  • construction of access roads with major machinery and equipment installations.

Recently, Tamboran’s licence expired (for details, see the timeline below) and a court case was pending.  Regardless of the result of this case, the area was still available for oil or gas exploration.

* Tamboran presentation Sept. 2012