Ireland offers second tranche of frontier license options

Offshore staff

DUBLIN, Ireland – The Irish government has awarded 14 new licensing options (LOs) under Phase 2 of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round.

They follow the first phase of awards in February, and bring the total of new LOs offered to 28.

Minister Kyne said: “The industry response to the 2015 Round has been very positive, with a total of 43 applications for licensing options received by the deadline last September.

“The response to the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round 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.”

AzEire Petroleum, Capricorn Ireland, Europa Oil and Gas, Faroe Petroleum, Petrel Resources, Predator Oil and Gas, Providence Resources, Ratio Petroleum and Scotia Oil and Gas all secured LOs as operators.

Two more companies, Theseus and Sosina Exploration, will respectively partner with Predator and Providence.

The 14 Phase 2 awards are as follows:

  • AzEire – two
  • Capricorn – one
  • Europa – four
  • Faroe – one
  • Petrel – two
  • Predator with Theseus as partner – one
  • Providence with Sosina as partner – one
  • Ratio – one
  • Scotia – one

The Phase 1 LOs were:

  • Eni with BP as partner – one
  • Europa – one
  • ExxonMobil with Statoil as partner – one
  • Nexen – four
  • Scotia – one
  • Statoil with ExxonMobil as partner – four
  • Woodside – one

Europa CEO Hugh Mackay said: “Subject to formal award, we will have a diversified portfolio of seven high impact exploration licences across three basins in offshore Ireland and representing a range of geological risk, hydrocarbon plays, and exploration maturity.

The company expects approval shortly from the Irish Authorities for the transfer of Kosmos Energy Ireland’s interest and operatorship in frontier exploration licenses FEL 2/13 and 3/13, lifting Europa’s interest in both licenses to 100%.

Efforts continue to attract a farm-in partner to help take the licenses into the next exploration phase, including exploration drilling. Europa hopes this year’s awards will assist the process.

Europa has a 100% interest in LO 16/2, awarded for a two-year period from March 1, 2016. It covers roughly 522 sq km (202 sq mi) and adjoins the eastern boundary of FEL 3/13 in which the company also has a 100% ownership.

Three pre-rift prospects identified in LO 16/2 could hold combined prospective resources of 895 MMboe. Europa believes the pre-rift play that has been successful in the Flemish Pass basin offshore Newfoundland may also have developed in the Southern Porcupine basin off western Ireland, in addition to the existing Cretaceous fan play.


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