Organisation Structure

IOOA is the representative organisation for companies licensed to explore for, and produce, oil and gas in Irish waters. Previously an informal group (the Irish Offshore Operators’ Group), the Association was formally established in 1995. It currently has 15 members representing multinational and Irish companies. IOOA has a number of sub-committees that draw upon key industry experts to inform the work of the Association.

 Did You Know?

Pioneering research work on understanding the geological development of deep water basins has been carried out in Irish academic institutions supported by funding from the petroleum industry.

At IOOA, we work to:

  • Represent the interests of oil and gas companies licensed to operate in the Irish offshore
  • Promote the economic and social contribution of the oil and gas sector in Ireland
  • Facilitate dialogue with key stakeholders on key issues that relate to the oil and gas sector
  • Partner with international counterparts to help maintain appropriate and up-to-date standards for oil and gas exploration
  • Educate about the role of oil and gas in the energy mix, as well as promote and support appropriate research

Key Personnel

Pat Shannon

Pat Shannon


Formerly Professor of Geology at University College Dublin, Professor Shannon held positions with the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Energy, the Geological Survey of Ireland and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A past Chairman of the Irish Branch of the Institute of Petroleum (now the Energy Institute), he has worked closely with the oil and gas exploration industry in Ireland for more than 35 years. He holds a BSc and PhD in Geology from University College Dublin. He established the Marine and Petroleum Geology Research Group at UCD, and has an extensive research publication record on the petroleum geology of the Irish offshore.

Alan Blacklaw

Alan Blacklaw


Alan Blacklaw first began in the oil and gas industry as a graduate engineer at Total in 1990. Since then he held positions of progressive responsibility with Amec and BG Group before joining Nexen in 2012 as General Manager of their UK Operations. In 2017 Alan relocated from Aberdeen to Nexen’s newly opened Dublin office as General Manager. Alan in an engineering graduate from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University and is a chartered member of the Institute of Technology. He assumed the role of Secretary of the IOOA in January 2018.

John O’Sullivan

John O’Sullivan


John O’Sullivan is a geology graduate of University College Cork and holds a Masters in Applied Geophysics from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also holds a Masters in Technology Management from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin and a doctorate in Geology from Trinity College Dublin.  John is a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.  He is also a member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Geophysical Association of Ireland. John is currently Technical Director at Providence Resources and has more than 25 years of industry experience having previously worked with both Mobil and Marathon Oil.

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