IOSEA 5 was the fifth offshore SEA of a series and the IOSEA 5 study area included all of the study areas used for the previous IOSEAs, as well as an additional area further to the south (the entire Goban Spur basins).
The study area lay within Ireland's Designated Continental Shelf area and extended westwards and southwards out to the 200 nautical mile (nm) limit. Water depths within the Atlantic Margin basins offshore west of Ireland range from 50m to about 3,500m.
The objectives of the SEA were defined as follows:
- to inform the Department of specific environmental considerations in its future petroleum activities under licensing rounds in the Atlantic Margin Basins, as well as the award of licences in the Celtic and Irish Seas; and
- to provide exploration companies working offshore with an operational baseline against which they can conduct their work and ensure the protection of the marine environment.