A gov spokesman has told Gef that judging how much gas is off the island’s coast and its potential value is very difficult.

Gef contacted the gov after claims made at a pre-election in Foxdale that there are up to £800bn (yes billion) worth of gas off the coast of the island and that the gov knows about it.

That claim was made by a member of the public who asked the candidates whether they would support a company drilling for the gas. Several candidates said they didn’t know about the gas’ potential value however Trevor Cowin said he had spoken to ‘reliable sources’ and that he understood it to be true.

However, a gov spokesman told Gef: ‘Previous studies indicate 90-890 billion cubic feet of natural gas may be present below the Island’s seabed, which is a very broad range.  The point of licencing hydrocarbon exploration was because no one knows precisely what volume of hydrocarbons might be beneath the seabed, the viability of extraction, or the costs involved.  It makes giving a figure very difficult.’

The issue was also raised at the Rushen meeting where candidates were asked if they would exploit the gas deposits.

It is also understood that a previous licence issued to locally based firm Crogga to explore for gas has since expired.

The gov has asked for views on hydrocarbon exploration as part of the recent consultation on the outline and principles for the first Statutory Climate Change Plan 2022-2027.

Mr Cowin in a candidate in the Glenfaba and Peel constituency. His fellow candidates are: Geoffrey Boot, Tim Crookall, Leo Cusson, Ray Harmer, Mikey Lee and Kate Lord-Brennan.

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