Thirteen new licences for oil and gas exploration off Ireland’s coasts have been granted to 12 companies by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD.
Speaking this morning at the opening of a petroleum research conference in Dublin, the Minister said the State didn’t have the resources to fund the exploration and that he was pleased at the response from the international exploration industry to the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round.
The options are for a two-year period during which time the exploration companies will have to complete an agreed work programme.
The companies involved include both new entrants to Ireland, together with companies already active in the Irish offshore. The seven new companies that will be offered acreage are: Antrim Energy; Bluestack Energy; Europa Oil & Gas; First Oil Expro; Petrel Resources; Repsol Exploration; and Two Seas Oil & Gas Ltd. The five companies already active in Ireland are: Providence Resources Plc; Chrysaor; Serica Energy; Sosina Exploration and San Leon Energy.
“Ireland needs to see an increase in exploration activity and exploration drilling in particular, if the petroleum potential of our offshore is to be realised,” said Minister Rabbitte.
“The positive outcome of the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round will help bring a new momentum to the level of exploration activity in our offshore. Ireland must continue to communicate the message to international exploration companies that Ireland is open for business and that the Irish offshore has real potential.”