A Clare based action group has warned a British energy firm that fracking of a natural gas field off the west coast will not proceed — "not now, not ever".

According to the Irish Examiner, London-based Enegi plans to apply for an exploration license over the coming weeks. The independent oil and gas group currently operates in Ireland, the UK and Canada.

Clare Fracking Concerned spokeswoman Róisín Ní Gháirbhith said: "What Enegi Oil need to realize is locals value their health, water, environment and, most of, all their children a lot more than any short term jobs or financial gains."

"We strongly encourage Enegi to stop wasting its time and energy investigating the possibility of carrying out fracking in our county.”

Ní Gháirbhith emphasized: "Not now, not ever will this highly controversial, destructive method of extracting gas be allowed by the people."

A study by the company showed that there is up to 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the site, south of Doonbeg and north of Kilrush in Co. Clare.

Enegi’s preliminary findings stated that "given the maturity, thickness and buried depth of the shale, the whole area under the option remains prospective for shale gas."

The extraction method is known as fracking (hydraulic fracturing). Fracking involves creating fractures in rocks by injecting fluid into cracks to force them further open. The larger openings allow more oil and gas to flow out of the formation. The practice has been the source of much controversy worldwide.

Enegi chief executive Alan Minty said the company was looking forward to exploring off the coast of Clare.

"Our findings and the report from Fugro have further endorsed management’s belief that the Clare basin has a strong best case investment profile. The whole acreage appears to be very prospective and we are particularly excited by the area at the centre of the existing seismic grid which we have defined as high grade."

Enegi plan on apply for an exploration license off the Clare coastGoogle Images