Cork, 7 August 2015
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD, today (Friday) visited the offshore drilling rig Ocean Guardian, a semi-submersible drilling rig being used to drill exploration well 49-11/3 on the "Midleton" natural gas prospect on Exploration Licence SEL 4/07, in the Celtic Sea.
The well, which is operated by PSE Seven Heads Ltd, a subsidiary of PSE Kinsale Energy Limited, is located approximately 50 km Southeast of the Old Head of Kinsale in 85m water depth.
Minister White said: "It is only through active exploration that the potential of the Irish offshore will be established. Investment in this well demonstrates continued industry confidence in the hydrocarbon potential of the Celtic Sea."
Note for editors
PSE Kinsale Energy Limited is a subsidiary of Malaysian oil and gas major PETRONAS and operates the Kinsale Head, Ballycotton and Seven Heads Gas fields and the Southwest Kinsale gas storage facility. PSE Kinsale has been producing natural gas from its offshore facilities since 1978.
A key element of the State's strategy for the oil and gas sector is that industry should carry the financial risk associated with exploration. As such the State aims to facilitate an environment that encourages industry to invest. In recent years the State has worked hard to repositioning the proposition offered to industry through:
· Enactment of the Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety Acts 2010 and 2015 and the revised fiscal terms proposed for the Finance Bill 2015, which rework and modernise Ireland's regulatory and fiscal frameworks
· Promotion of Ireland as an exploration investment destination at key international industry events
· Low-cost entry licensing mechanisms such as those offered under the 2011 and 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Rounds and
· Supporting data acquisition/research projects such as the 2D Atlantic Margin Regional Seismic Survey Project and the Conjugate Margins Plate Reconstruction Project.