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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 10:58 GMT
Gas search fails off Welsh coast
Drilling for gas (generic)
Drilling started off west Wales last September
An oil company that has been drilling for natural gas off the Pembrokeshire coast has drawn a blank.

Marathon Oil deployed a rig at the Dragon Field, about 21 miles west of St David's Head, in the hope of finding enough gas for commercial exploration.

But the company, which had a temporary base at Pembroke Dock, said its latest tests had been unsuccessful.

Environment campaigners said they were not surprised and called for investment in 'clean' energy such as wind power.

Marathon, which has interests in the North Sea, Norway and off Ireland, first explored the Dragon Field in 1994.

For a number of years companies have been exploring in the Irish Sea but we've not heard of any significant finds - certainly in British waters
Gordon James, Friends of the Earth Cymru

A company spokeswoman said the latest tests had not gone as hoped.

She said: "The well drilled on the Dragon prospect offshore Pembrokeshire late 2005 did not discover hydrocarbons."

The two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals being built in the county had renewed the company's interest in the area.

Gas cooled down to liquid form to make it easier to transport will be shipped to Milford Haven from all over the world.

Gordon James of the Pembrokeshire branch of Friends of the Earth Cymru said he was "not entirely surprised" at the results.

"For a number of years companies have been exploring in the Irish Sea but we've not heard of any significant finds - certainly in British waters," he said.

"This now should be an opportunity to look at alternative sources of clean energy from wind, wave, tidal and so on."


SEE ALSO:
Gas drilling under way off coast
28 Sep 05 |  South West Wales


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