The Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) has today (12th Nov 2019) received further clarification on existing licences which expands upon the principles set out by the Government in its statement on 30th October last.

On that occasion the Government confirmed the following principles in relation to petroleum exploration in the Irish Offshore:

  • All future licencing rounds in the currently closed area offshore (Atlantic Margin – 80%) will be for natural gas only and not oil.
  • All new licence applications in the currently open area (Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, coastal areas – 20%) will be for natural gas only and not oil, applicable from the day of the Taoiseach and Minister Bruton’s announcement on 23 September 2019.
  • All applications and authorisations in place before the announcement was made will not be affected by the decision.

The Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) has today (12th November 2019) further confirmed in writing that ‘all existing applications and authorisations can progress through the six standard lifecycle stages for extraction/production of natural gas and/or oil:

  • Petroleum Prospecting Licence (issued under Section 9 (1) of the 1960 Act)
  • Licencing Option (Issued under Section 7 (1) of the 1960 Act)
  • Exploration Licence (Issued under Section 8 (1) of the 1960 Act)
  • Lease undertaking (Issued under Section 10 (1) of the 1960 Act)
  • Petroleum Lease (Issued under Section 13 (1) of the 1960 Act)
  • Reserved Area Licence (Issued under Section 19 (1) of the 1960 Act) ‘

Welcoming the clarification IOOA CEO, Mandy Johnston, said:

“This clarification by the Department is firm recognition of the continuing contribution our members are making so Ireland can meet its energy needs. As the representative body for companies exploring and producing in the Irish offshore we remain fully committed to working with Government to ensure Ireland can have energy security for a vibrant economy, while also meeting international commitments.”



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