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Shell says accepts Irish pipeline proposals

Written by: Staff

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Thursday it would accept recommendations from an Irish government-sponsored safety report that would allow it to build a controversial gas pipeline in the west of the country.

''Our response today is we're going to accommodate, adopt those recommendations and we welcome the report and we hope that the project can now move forward,'' Shell Exploration and Production boss Malcolm Brinded told an analysts' meeting.

A long-running dispute with local residents, who are worried about the high-pressure pipeline running close to their homes, has held up Shell's plans to exploit the Corrib field 70 km (44 miles) off the Mayo coast, which contains 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The Irish government said on Wednesday that Shell can start work on the 300-million-euro (8 million) pipeline off the County Mayo coast provided it meets certain conditions.

These are mainly to reduce pressure in the pipe and to accept an independent body to supervise the project's design and maintenance.

Brinded said he hoped that Shell could now improve damaged relations with the community.

''What we're expecting very much to see is that the focus (is) really on improved communication and dialogue with the community in the neighbourhood.'' REUTERS MP RS2043

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