Ireland awards first phase of 2015 license round in Porcupine basin

Ireland’s Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources has awarded 14 new licensing options in the country’s southern Porcupine basin. The 2015 Atlantic Margin licensing round recently concluded with 43 applications received by the September 2015 deadline, a number of which included seismic acquisition for later this year.

Minister Joe McHugh described the response to the round as “extremely positive,” adding “this is by the largest number of applications received in any licensing round held in the Irish offshore.”

The awards offered include eight companies:

• Eni SPA with BP PLC as partner on one license.

• Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) PLC, Nexen Energy ULC, Scotia, and Woodside Petroleum Ltd. received one license each.

• ExxonMobil Corp. and Statoil ASA will partner on six licenses with ExxonMobil operating two blocks, and Statoil as operator on four blocks.

Woodside has been active off western Ireland in the Porcupine basin since 2013 when it farmed in to Dublin-based Petrel Resources PLC’s licenses 3/14 and 4/14 (OGJ Online, Mar. 6, 2013).

The current license options include a 2-year work period. The second and final phase of awards is planned for mid-May.

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