Republic of Ireland
Three “Options Licences” have been granted in the Republic of Ireland by the Department of Energy and Natural Resources. These allow oil and gas companies to do desktop studies of the licencing area, carry out shallow drilling (200 metres) and complete seismic studies of the area. They do not allow deep drilling or hydraulic fracturing.
February 2010: Applications for Onshore Licensing Options invited by Dept. of Energy.
March 2011: Tamboran Resources and LANCO awarded two Options Licences for the Lough Allen Basin, also known as the North West Carboniferous basin. The licences cover an area of approximately 1,500 square kilometres over parts of counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon and Sligo.
March 2011: Energi Oil awarded an Options Licence for the Clare Basin. This licence covers an area of approximately 500 square kilometres over parts of counties Clare, Cork, Limerick and Kerry.
December 2012: Deadline for detailed work programme for any follow-up authorisation(s) i.e. Petroleum Exploration Licence(s), for the approval of the Minister, which will include drilling commitment/commitments. Exploration licences can include permission for deep drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Such applications can be made before the due date.
February 2013: Options licence term ends. (Any licensing options awarded are valid for a period of up to a maximum of 24 months and may not be extended. )
2013: Possibility of five-year Exploratory Licences awarded which could include deep drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
* In Northern Ireland, all licences granted were Exploratory Licences, which allow deep test drilling and, in the case of Fermanagh, hydraulic fracturing.
29th June 2010: Department of Energy, Trade and Trade (NI) published a Notice in the Official Journal of the European Union announcing the availability of all of onshore Northern Ireland for Petroleum Licence applications
February 2011: Five-year Exploratory Licence granted to Rathlin Energy Ltd. for the Rathlin Basin, which includes part of counties Antrim and Londonderry-Derry. This licence allows the company to “search for and bore for and get” petroleum (which includes gas).
February 2011: Five-year Exploratory Licence granted to P.R.Singleton Ltd. for on-shore and off-shore exploration of Rathlin Island area in County Antrim. This licence allows the company to “search for and bore for and get” petroleum.
March 2011: Five-year Exploratory Licence granted to Infrastrata plc and eCORP Oil and Gas UK Ltd. for Central Larne-Lough Neagh Basin, which includes part of County Antrim. This licence allows the company to “search for and bore for and get” petroleum.
April 2011: Five-year Exploratory Licence granted to Tamboran Resources for Lough Allen Basin North, West Fermanagh. This licence allows the company to “search for and bore for and get” petroleum but also includes permission for “coring, fracturing, multiple horizontal legs, flow testing and seismic monitoring”.
2014: Deadline for decision to “drill or drop”.
2016: Exploratory Licences expire. Applications for full Petroleum Production Licences must be made before or during 2016, unless the exploratory period is extended.
* Policy: “DETI has identified security of energy supply as a major issue for Northern Ireland’s economy with its heavy reliance on imported natural gas and oil, and the discovery of indigenous supplies of oil or gas could be very important in this respect.” (source DETINI)