Thursday 14 December 2017

Tamboran chief worked with firm at centre of multi-million lawsuit

Treacy Hogan

TAMBORAN's chief executive Richard Moorman was previously employed at a US-based gas exploration company which is at the centre of a multi-million dollar lawsuit by families in Pennsylvania for alleged contamination of tapwater with cancer-causing chemicals.

Families living close to fracking rigs claim something went wrong during the fracking process and chemicals loaded with heavy metals and carcinogens entered their wells.

Separately, residents in Arkansas have also taken legal action against the same company, Southwestern Energy, claiming the equivalent of €6m damages, alleging the company contaminated their drinking water wells.

The claims are being denied by Southwestern Energy.

Mr Moorman, an engineer, has worked for several US and Canada-based unconventional exploration companies over the past 20 years. He left Southwestern Energy in 2008 to head up the Tamboran group.

Mr Moorman has pledged that Tamboran will take a range of measures to ensure the health and safety of Leitrim residents.

Tamboran's chairman is Australian-born Patrick Elliott, and he has been involved in oil and gas exploration in that country for many years.

The task of convincing locals about the scheme will be daunting as new studies claim that human and animal health is seriously endangered by gas fracking operations.

Researchers from Cornell University in New York have just published a major peer-reviewed paper warning about health effects of fracking.

The report 'Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health' details 24 cases of animal and owner health problems with potential links to natural gas extraction operations in six US states.

"The most commonly reported symptoms were associated with reproduction. Cattle that have been exposed to wastewater . . . or affected well or pond water may have trouble breeding.

"When cows were likewise exposed, farmers reported an increased incidence of stillborn calves with and without congenital abnormalities (cleft palate, white and blue eyes)."

The most dramatic case was the death of 17 cows within one hour from direct exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluid.

Tamboran executives have dismissed these reports.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News