Petrel resources PLC has been awarded two offshore exploration blocks in the Irish Atlantic margin in bid to boost native Irish energy resources.
The Irish Atlantic margin has an established petroleum system, though there have not yet been large discoveries.
It is hoped that more companies will be attracted to explore for oil off the Irish coast as Irish fiscal terms are competitive internationally. The tax regime is that there is a special Corporate Tax rate of 25% applying to profits from petroleum production and an additional Profit Resource tax of between 5% and 15% that applies in the case of more profitable fields.
Significant gas discoveries will have a ready market. According to the International Energy Agency, Ireland is 58% dependent on gas for electricity generation, of which 95% is imported. Two interconnectors link Ireland to the Scottish pipeline system and general European gas grid.
To encourage discoveries and domestic hydrocarbon supplies, 257,200km2 of sedimentary acreage, including most of the available Atlantic acreage, was opened up by the Irish Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in late 2010 for bidding in May 2011.
The Minister has offered Petrel Resources plc a total of 1405 km2 of prospective acreage in the Porcupine Basin, including Licensing Options over blocks 35/23, 35/24, the key parts of 35/25, 45/6, 45/11, 44/15 and 45/16.
David Horgan, Managing Director, commented, “This is excellent news: the high hydrocarbon prices, fast-developing offshore technology and a proven hydrocarbon system means that Ireland’s opportunity for offshore exploration has finally come.”