Rockall 2009 Frontier Licensing Round
NEW - Technical and Other Supporting Information for the 2009 Rockall Round (PAD/DCENR, February 2009)
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Dublin 21 July 2009
Serica Energy (UK) Ltd have been awarded the Frontier Exploration Licence under the Rockall Licensing Round
Minister Lenihan said “I am pleased to offer my congratulations to Serica on their successful application for a Frontier Exploration Licence and to wish them success in the significant new efforts they will undertake in progressing their work programme.”
While the Rockall Basin is a challenging location the confidence of the industry in frontier exploration is very encouraging and underpins the importance of the continuing search for indigenous energy resources in order to reduce Ireland’s dependency on imported oil and gas.
“This industry is of great importance to the country and I and my Department will do the upmost to encourage and assist the exploration Industry and any industry which has the capacity to create employment and to increase Ireland’s energy independence.” added Minister Lenihan
Members of the Serica team had significant involvement, while employed by Enterprise Oil, in the work leading to the Corrib and Dooish discoveries and have a successful track record in attracting major farm in partners.
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Dublin, 23 April 2009
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan TD today announced the closure of the 2009 Rockall licensing round. Under the Round, oil and gas exploration companies were invited to apply for new Frontier Exploration Licences in the Rockall Basin.
The acreage on offer in the Rockall Basin off the west coast covers unlicensed blocks in an area of approximately 117,200 square kilometres.
As part of the 2009 round, applications were received from:
*A group comprising Providence Resources Plc (as operator) with OMV (Exploration) GMBH and Sosina Exploration Ltd as partners. All three are involved in a number of existing exploration licences.
*Serica Energy Ltd, a UK registered company with an interest in one existing Frontier Exploration Licence.
Minister Ryan welcomed the applications and acknowledged that “while exploration in remote deep water areas such as the Rockall Basin is difficult and costly, there is significant potential reward. The fact that companies already operating in the Irish offshore have sought additional acreage and are prepared to commit to investing further in exploration is a positive signal.
Should licences be granted under this Round, a tax rate of up to 40% would apply. This is very good news for the Exchequer.”
The applications will now be evaluated in accordance with the agreed criteria and a decision on whether or not to offer licences will be made shortly.
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Need to increase indigenous energy resources
Dublin, 24th November 2008
Minister Seán Power today announced the opening of the 2009 Rockall Licensing Round and published the details of the Round.
Under the 2009 Rockall Licensing Round, oil and gas exploration companies will be invited to apply for new Frontier Exploration Licences in the Rockall Basin. The acreage on offer in the Rockall Basin to the west of Ireland covers unlicensed blocks in an area of approximately 117,200 square kilometres.
Commenting on Ireland’s very high dependence on imported oil and gas, Minister Power said “that finding and producing our indigenous oil and gas is critical to strengthening Ireland’s security of energy supply and reducing our reliance on imported fuels. The Rockall Basin is relatively underexplored and this Licensing Round represents an exciting new opportunity for the exploration industry to invest in exploration offshore Ireland”.
Minister Power acknowledged that “exploration in remote deep water areas such as the Rockall Basin is difficult and costly. But the potential rewards are also very high. Accordingly, the new tax regime introduced in 2007 will apply in the case of licences granted under the 2009 Round, which means that in the case of more profitable fields a tax rate of 40% would apply.”
Minister Power added that “in recent years there has been an upswing in the level of investment in exploration for oil and gas offshore Ireland,” and that he is “confident that the industry will react positively to the opening of the Rockall Basin for further exploration opportunities.”
In advance of decisions on the award of licences, a comprehensive Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the region is being undertaken by external environmental experts ERT and Aqua Fact, and the post-consultation report will be available shortly. The SEA will inform the industry of the environmental characteristics and sensitivities of the Basin, and will make recommendations to the Minister as to how these should be addressed.
Applications for Frontier Exploration Licenses covering blocks in the Round may be submitted up to noon on 22 April 2009. The terms for the Round provide that applications may be made for a minimum of two blocks and for a maximum of eight blocks.
Map showing the area that will be on offer under the 2009 Rockall Round
2009 Rockall Licensing Round Details
Licensing Terms for Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration, Development and Production – 2007
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Dublin, 8 July, 2008
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Mr. Seán Power T.D. today 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 that “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.
Map of 2009 Rockall Licensing Round Area
Download 2009 Rockall Round Information Sheet (April 2008)
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