Thursday, 12 May 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
26. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he can confirm recent reports that companies (details supplied) have made a significant find of oil off the coast of Dalkey, County Dublin; and the licensing status of this exploration. [10951/11]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): I assume the recent reports to which the Deputy is referring relate to Licensing Option 08/2 which was granted to Providence Resources plc and Star Energy Oil and Gas Ltd in 2008. Star Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas International Corporation Ltd. The Licensing Option was awarded to the companies for a three year period to 17th August 2011 and covers an area of approximately 960 square kilometres in the Kish Bank Basin, off the coast of Dublin. The Option is subject to an agreed work programme to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the area.
The companies identified an exploration prospect in the licensed area from a new analysis of existing seismic data. The prospect, known as “Dalkey Island”, has not been drilled to date and therefore is not an oil discovery. The commercial hydrocarbon potential, if any, of the prospect will not be known until the structure is drilled and fully evaluated. By the end of the Option period in August this year, the companies must either apply for a Petroleum Exploration Licence or surrender the acreage. Any Petroleum Exploration Licence awarded over the area would be subject to a commitment by the licensees to drill an exploration well in the first three years of the licence.
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