Decommissioning Kinsale Head and Seven Heads Facilities

Decommissioning of certain facilities within the Kinsale Head and Seven Heads Petroleum Lease areas

Applications from PSE Kinsale Energy (KEL) for the decommissioning of certain facilities of the Kinsale Head and Ballycotton gas fields,) and from PSE Seven Heads Limited (SHL) for the decommissioning of certain facilities of the Seven Heads gas field, were received on 28 June 2018. Production from the Kinsale Head gas field commenced in 1978, with Ballycotton and Seven Heads coming into production later. The fields are now coming to the end of their productive life. The facilities are located in the Celtic Sea, between approximately 40 and 70km off the County Cork coast and onshore at Inch, County Cork. These applications cover the following activities:

  • Plugging and abandoning of development wells;
  • The removal of two platform topsides structures;
  • The removal of a number of subsea facilities.

Consent was sought for approval of an addendum to the Plan of Development for both gas fields, in accordance with Section 13 and 13A of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960, as amended (POMDA) and also to alter and remove certain facilities from a designated area under Section 5(2) of the Continental Shelf Act 1968, as amended. The applications were accompanied by Environmental Impact Assessment Report and an Appropriate Assessment Screening Report. These reports cover the environmental impacts of the entire decommissioning of the facilities. Further information on the applications can be found here. Further applications will be made which will encompass all remaining structures in the gas fields. 

The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has now made determinations on the applications, details of which are set out below. Please note that the validity of the decisions 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.