Oil major Shell’s Corrib gas project was officially opened in Co Mayo yesterday by the Minister of State for Natural Resources.
Politician Joe McHugh unveiled a plaque at the Bellanboy onshore terminal amid tight security, before later travelling to BelMullet for a formal lunch with 160 guests.
Both police and private security were on duty at the lunch venue, according to reports.
Shell E&P Ireland managing director Ronan Deasy said the road to the first delivery of gas last month had been long and ancrimonious.
He said: “At times, relationships weren’t always easy but they were important to build and they helped to shape the project.
“Undoubtedly there was division in relation to the project, there were concerns about aspects of it and there were disruptions to local life on many occasions because of it.”
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is currently investigating first flaring of gas on New Year’s Eve, which residents had described as “frightening”.
Earlier this month it was revealed Statoil had injected €150million into Shell’s Corrib gas field.
First gas was marked from the field a day after final approval was given by the Irish Government in December.