Written Answers - Offshore Exploration

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 732 No. 2

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  26.  Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett  Information on Richard Boyd Barrett  Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett   asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources  Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte   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): Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on 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.

Question No. 27 answered with Question No. 11.


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