Application by Exola

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.

Application for consent for a site survey at Barryroe, North Celtic Sea, South West Coast, Ireland proposed by Exola DAC who currently hold a standard exploration licence SEL 1/11

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 26th February 2019 and any submission received by close of business on 1 April 2019 was considered by the Minister.

The following documents were received:

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 when received will be published on the Department website and further submissions invited to be made on the additional material. Any submissions received will be 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.

By further Notice dated 1 May, 2019 EXOLA DAC was directed to provide additional information considered necessary for the purposes of carrying out the Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment of the 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:

An additional consultation period was provided until 23 May 2019. The public were invited to make submissions in relation to the additional information, which submissions could be sent to PADadmin@dccae.gov.ie.

 

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:

An additional consultation period was provided until 6 June 2019. The public were invited to make submissions in relation to the additional information, which submissions could be sent to PADadmin@dccae.gov.ie.


 

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.


 

Update 22  July, 2019  - Publication of Appropriate Assessment (AA) Determination

Appropriate Assessment Determination

On 22  July, 2019, an Appropriate Assessment  determination was made, under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 477 of 2011), as amended, that the application by Exola DAC to conduct a site survey within the Barryroe licence area ( SEL 1/11) would not adversely affect the integrity of a European site (whether individually or in combination with other plans or projects), subject to the mitigation measures included in the AA Screening Determination being included as conditions in any permission that may be granted by the Minister in respect of the application.

It was further concluded that there would be no significant adverse effects on Annex IV species that may be present in the area, should approval be granted in respect of the application. 

The AA Determination, and the relevant documents are attached.

 

Update 23  July, 2019  - Publication of Environment Impact Assessment  (EIA) Determination

EIA Screening Determination

On  23rd  July, 2019 an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening determination was made under the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Petroleum Exploration) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No 134/2013), as amended by the European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Petroleum Exploration) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, that the site survey proposed by Exola DAC within the Barryroe licence area (SEL 1/11) is not likely to have significant effects on the environment and, consequently, an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required, subject to the implementation of the mitigation measures included in the EIA Screening Determination and their inclusion as conditions in any permission that may be granted by the Minister in respect of the application.

The EIA Screening Determination and associated documentation are attached.

 

Update 8 August 2019 

Decision on Application

Notice of the grant of permission to Exola DAC to undertake a seabed debris clearance, environmental baseline and habitat assessment site survey over the area of the Barryroe field, within Standard Exploration Licence SEL 1/11

The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has made a decision on the application from Exola DAC to undertake a seabed debris clearance, environmental baseline and habitat assessment site survey over the area of the Barryroe Field, within Standard Exploration Licence 1/11 (SEL 1/11). Full details are available below.

 

Judicial Review

Please note that the validity of this decision 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 Judicial Review can be obtained from the Citizens Information Board, Ground Floor, George's Quay House, 43 Townsend Street, Dublin 2 (www.citizensinformation.ie) or from the Courts Website (www.courts.ie).

Disclaimer: The above is intended for information purposes. It does not purport to be a legally binding interpretation of the relevant provisions on judicial review and it would be advisable for persons contemplating legal action to seek legal advice.