First Phase 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round Awards Announced

Eight companies have been awarded new acreage in the southern Porcupine Basin as part of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Oil and Gas Exploration Licensing Round.

The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, announced the offer of fourteen new Licensing Options in the Irish offshore following the conclusion of the first phase of awards in the 2015 Atlantic Margin Round. This phase of awards focusses on an area in the southern Porcupine Basin, where a number of applications included commitments to acquire new seismic surveys later this year.

The companies receiving acreage comprise Eni S.p.A., Europa Oil & Gas Holdings plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Nexen, Scotia, Statoil ASA, Woodside and BP plc. The second and final phase of awards is planned for mid-May.

Commenting on the awards, McHugh said in a government statement:

“The response to the round has been extremely positive, with 43 applications for Licensing Options received by the deadline of September 2015.

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

“Industry’s response to the round demonstrates the perceived positive exploration opportunity of Ireland’s offshore and highlights confidence in the Irish regulatory process and the ability of industry to do business in Ireland.”



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