An application for consent for a site survey at Barryroe, North Celtic Sea was received by the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on 21st February 2019. The survey application was received from Exola DAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Providence Resources plc, within standard exploration licence SEL 1/11, granted by the Minister for Communications Climate Action and Environment pursuant to Section 8 of the Petroleum Act 1960. The public were invited to make submissions in relation to this application. Submissions could be sent to PADadmin@dccae.gov.ie.
This application was posted on the Department's website on 27 February 2019 and any submission received by close of business on 1 April 2019 was considered by the Minister.
Please note that the validity any decision made on these applications may be questioned by judicial review under Order 84 of the Rules of the Superior Courts (S.I. No.15 of 1986), as amended. Any application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date of this decision. Practical information on the review mechanism can be obtained from Citizens Information at your local Citizens Information Centre, by phone on 0761 07 4000 or online at citizensinformation.ie.
Update 18 April, 2019
Having regard to, inter alia, the requirements of the EIA Directives and the observations received further to consultations on the screening process, the Department considers that further information was required from the applicant so that an EIA screening assessment could be carried out.
Article 4(6) of EU Directive 2014/52/EU requires that a competent authority make a screening determination "as soon as possible and within a period of time not exceeding 90 days from the date on which the developer has submitted all the information required pursuant to paragraph 4".
The Department requested that the applicant provide further information to enable a screening determination to be made.
The additional information received was published on the Department website and further submissions invited to be made on the additional material. Any submissions were taken into account in any final EIA Screening Determination made in respect of this application.
Update 1 May, 2019
On 1 May, 2019, a determination was made, following screening under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 477 of 2011), as amended, that a Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment was required in respect of the Exola DAC Application (made on 21 February 2019) to conduct a site survey within the Barryroe licence area (SEL 1/11) situated in the Celtic Sea basin approximately 43 km south east of the closest coastline at Ballymacshoneen, Butlerstown North, County Cork on the south coast of Ireland, as it could not be excluded on the basis of objective scientific information that the project, individually or in combination with other plans or projects, would have a significant effect on a European Site.
EXOLA DAC submitted a combined Appropriate Assessment Screening and Natura Impact Statement along with their application:
Update 9 May, 2019
On 8 May, 2019 the applicant, as requested by the Department, provided additional information to the Department so that an EIA screening assessment could be carried out. This additional information was published on the Department's website on 9 May, 2019:
Update 16 May, 2019
The applicant, as requested by the Department, provided additional information to the Department so that an Appropriate Assessment could be carried out. This additional information was published on the Department's website on 16 May, 2019:
Update 28 May, 2019 - Appropriate Assessment Public Consultation
On 16 May, the Department published the additional information received from EXOLA DAC on its website and the public was invited to make observations thereon during a 21 day consultation period for the purposes of the Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment of the application.
It came to our attention on Thursday 23 May that there was a problem accessing the documents on the consultation page. The error was rectified on 24 May. Please note that the consultation period has been extended to 13 June 2019, so as to ensure that a 21 day consultation period will apply. Any submissions received during this time will be taken into account as part of the Appropriate Assessment of the application.