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.