Irish Government Awards 14 New Licences in Atlantic Ocean

Ireland's Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) has announced that it has awarded 14 oil and gas licences in the southern Porcupine Basin in the Irish Atlantic offshore to eight companies, among them ExxonMobil, Statoil, Eni, and BP. The remaining four companies that were awarded licences are Europa, Nexen, Scotia, and Woodside.

Nexen takes the highest number of awards with four licences granted. Statoil also takes four awards as operator but with ExxonMobil as partner. ExxonMobil will take operatorship of two licences with Statoil as partner. Scotia, Woodside, and Europa all take one licence each. Eni will operate one licence with BP as partner. 

In a statement released on February 11, the DCENR say that the winning eight companies were chosen from 43 applications for the licences. It also said that a number of those applications included commitments to acquire new seismic surveys later this year. The licences are granted to each of the companies for a period of two years. 

Minister of State at the DCENR Joe McHugh said that it had been among the strongest licensing rounds for the Republic of Ireland's offshore sector. 

"This is by far the largest number of applications received in any licensing round held in the Irish offshore," he said. "At a time of very low oil prices the strong interest in the round is very positive."

This is the first phase of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. The second and final phase of awards will be concluded in mid-May, the DCENR said. 


Erica Mills


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