Ireland Offers Licenses from North East Rockall Basin Licensing Round

Rockall Basin
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The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey T. D., announced that offers had been made to applicants for Frontier Exploration Licenses in the North East Rockall Basin Licensing Round.

The Round was announced on July 27, 2004 with a closing date of March 31, 2005, which was later extended to May 31, 2005 due to a delay in publication in the EU Journal. The acreage on offer covered 65 full blocks and 12 part blocks, an area of just under 15,800 square kilometers, in a region classified as frontier because of its deep water and challenging environment.

Two applications for Licenses were received by the deadline, from Island Oil & Gas plc & Shell E&P Ireland. Following a careful assessment by the Department, which considered the work programs offered, the applicants' experience and their technical and financial competencies, offers were made on July 20th to both applicants. To date one applicant, Island Oil & Gas plc has accepted the offer.

The areas applied for comprised seven blocks, amounting to approximately 1,650 square kilometers, ten per cent of the total area on offer. These were offered to the applicants, following the agreement of detailed work programs.

The Frontier Exploration Licenses will have a maximum duration of 16 years and will comprise four phases each with its own work obligations.

The Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources is still accepting licensing applications for the Slyne/Erris/Donegal Licensing Round. The closing date for applications under this round is March 15, 2006.

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