A British energy firm is to press ahead with plans to exploit a massive gas field discovered in West Clare – despite local opposition to fracking.

The Irish Sun reports that a new natural gas field of up to 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas has been found in Clare.

The UK-based energy firm Enegi has confirmed to the paper that it intends to apply to the Irish authorities for an exploration licence before next February.

But locals have already objected as extraction of the shale gas will involve ‘fracking’.

Roisin Ni Ghairbhith of Clare Fracking Concerned told the paper: “What Enegi Oil need to realise is that the people of Clare value their health, water, environment and most of all their children a lot more than any short-term jobs.

“The public, the entire County Council and the IFA in Clare have all said no to fracking ever happening in this county.”

The report states that a study carried out on behalf of Enegi by Fugro Robertson Ltd calculates the recoverable resource estimates for the area to be between 1.49 trillion cubic feet and 3.86 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.

Enegi chief Alan Minty said: “Clare Basin is a highly prospective project and we are delighted to be involved at this early stage.

“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.”

The find is located between Doonbeg and Kilrush in the west of the county.

A statement from Enegi said: “We have undertaken some preliminary economic analysis which has confirmed the viability of the proposed project.”

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