Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Joe McHugh, today announced the offer of fourteen new Licensing Options in the Irish offshore, following the conclusion of the first phase of awards in the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. This phase of awards focusses on an area in the southern Porcupine Basin, where a number of applications included commitments to acquire new seismic surveys later this year. The form of concessions on offer for the Round is two year Licensing Options.
Minister Mc Hugh said, "The response to the Round has been extremely positive, with 43 applications for Licensing Options received by the deadline of September 2015.
This is by far the largest number of applications received in any licensing round held in the Irish offshore. At a time of very low oil prices the strong interest in the Round is very positive"
He added that, "Industry's response to the Round demonstrates the perceived positive exploration opportunity of Ireland's offshore and highlights confidence in the Irish regulatory process and the ability of industry to do business in Ireland."
The offer of awards involves eight companies, Eni, Europa, ExxonMobil, Nexen, Scotia, Statoil and Woodside as Operators, along with BP who will partner with Eni.
The second and final phase of awards is planned for mid-May.
Note for editors:
Fourteen Licensing Options are being offered as follows:
- Eni with BP as partner – 1
- Europa – 1
- ExxonMobil with Statoil as partner – 2
- Nexen – 4
- Scotia – 1
- Statoil with ExxonMobil as partner – 4
- Woodside - 1