Area for exploration licenses extended


Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Mr. Seán Power TD has announced that he has decided to extend the area to be opened for licensing in the 2009 Rockall Licensing Round to include the north-western margin of the Rockall Basin.

This will bring the total acreage on offer under the round to 117,100 square kilometres.

In announcing the expanded area, the Minister said - “this is the first time since 1997 that such a major part of the Rockall Basin has been the subject of a licensing round. Recent technical studies have indicated a significant petroleum potential within the Rockall Basin. It is timely, therefore, that the oil and gas exploration industry be offered an opportunity to commit to invest in new exploration programmes in the basin.”

The Minister said that building on the success of the two most recent licensing rounds (Porcupine 2008 and Slyne\Erris\Donegal 2006) and the increased pace of drilling activity offshore Ireland, he was confident that the Rockall Round would attract significant interest from exploration companies.

Applications for Frontier Exploration Licences covering blocks in the round will be invited in quarter four 2008, with a closing date for applications in quarter two 2009.