Irish Natural Resources

Rockall 2009 “Frontier” Licensing Round

Department of Marine, Communications, and Natural Resourcers extends area ‘on offer’ for oil and gas exploration licenses under the 2009 Rockall Licensing Round

On 8th July, 2008 the 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 the Department was building on the success of the two most recent licensing rounds (Porcupine 2008 and Slyne\Erris\Donegal 2006) and that the pace of drilling activity was increasing off Ireland. As a result, 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 late 2008 with a closing date for applications in  2009.