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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #1
Catmalojin
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Ireland's oil and gas industry

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13 licences granted for oil & gas exploration
Updated: 11:37, Monday, 17 October 2011

Thirteen new licences have been granted for gas and oil exploration for the Rockall, Slyne and Porcupine basins off the Irish coast.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte said the licences were granted following an assessment of 15 applications submitted last May.

Minister Rabbitte insisted the State did not have the resources to fund the exploration and rejected claims that Ireland's licensing scheme was excessively generous.

He said another significant find would do wonders for our energy security and said the tax-take would be significant.

The minister said Ireland needs to see an increase in exploration activity and exploration drilling in particular, if the petroleum potential of our offshore is to be realised.

''The positive outcome of the 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round will help bring a new momentum to the level of exploration activity in our offshore.

''Ireland must continue to communicate the message to international exploration companies that Ireland is open for business and that the Irish offshore has real potential."

Meanwhile, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins said he found the Government's approach to exploration to be utterly wrong.

He said it was handing over to the private oil companies control of the whole future recovery and development of the natural resources off the coast.

Mr Higgins said a publicly owned exploration and recovery company should be established to set about assembling the expertise for exploration.

A total of 12 companies are involved in the 13 awards.

The companies involved include both new entrants to Ireland, together with companies already active in the Irish offshore.

The seven new companies that will be offered acreage are: Antrim Energy; Bluestack Energy; Europa Oil & Gas; First Oil Expro; Petrel Resources; Repsol Exploration; and Two Seas Oil & Gas Ltd.

The five companies already active in Ireland are: Providence Resources Plc; Chrysaor; Serica Energy; Sosina Exploration and San Leon Energy.

It is expected that exploration could start immediately.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/1017/energy.html
I thought that it would be a good idea to have a thread to keep an eye on developments of Ireland's oil and gas industry (on both sides of the border). After all, there could be substantial deposits of both off the west coast (but also inland in certain areas), although we haven't found anything substantial yet.

edit: Here's a table and map showing the areas where exploration licenses have been granted. It's pretty small in relation to the total size of the Atlantic Margin.

Last edited by Catmalojin; October 17th, 2011 at 01:59 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2011, 01:27 AM   #2
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Is there any news on whether or not the goverment are going to create a national Irish oil company so if we find oil we can make a good profit.
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Old November 19th, 2011, 01:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JD47 View Post
Is there any news on whether or not the goverment are going to create a national Irish oil company so if we find oil we can make a good profit.
There's no point even considering creating one until we actually find substantial qualities of oil and/or gas. It's be a waste of money we don't have, otherwise.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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Some news regarding all these bullshit myths regarding the oil and gas deposits we probably don't have.

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3% of Ireland's coast being explored for oil
Updated: 17:12, Tuesday, 22 November 2011



Representatives of the oil industry have said many myths exist around the industry in Ireland.

Chairman of the Irish Offshore Operators' Association Fergus Cahill said the idea that the coast of Ireland was 'a fat goose ready to be plucked', in exploration terms, was not true nor were there queues of oil companies hoping to explore.

He said 3% of the coast was under exploration, a figure that would increase to 5% if the recent round of 13 licences awarded are proceeded to exploration.

He said the Irish coast was a high risk, low return environment for exploration companies, many of whom lost large amounts of money by investing in projects here.

Mr Cahill said comparisons with Norway were not valid as the chances of a strike were significantly greater there.

On the 78% tax rate on finds in Norway, he said there was a corresponding 78% return for those who had not struck oil.

Director of Providence Resources John O'Sullivan said most of the companies involved in exploration off the coast were small companies and large multinationals.

He said the majority of wells here have failed and that companies had 'dismal' exploration record when it came to the Irish coast.

Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív asked what percentage of high potential areas were under licence.

He expressed concern that oil could be discovered here but brought elsewhere for processing to avail of more favourable tax regimes.

Sinn Féin's Martin Ferris said if companies were losing money it was puzzling as to why there was increased interest off the Irish coast.

Citing figures from the UK and elsewhere, Mr Cahill rejected this assertion.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/1122/oil.html
I wonder if all those advocating a tax regime similar to Norway's would like to refund losses for companies that find nothing, like they also do in Norway? Somehow I doubt it.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 09:13 PM   #5
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The tax regime planned by this Government is the right one IMO.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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The tax regime planned by this Government is the right one IMO.
Absolutely, but try explaining it to people who believe everything they hear from certain quarters comparing us with Norway...
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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What really annoys me is that so many people think we are swimming in Oil! There is a myth that it is not being exploited for all sorts of sinister reasons.

Worse still, most of the extreme left in Politics who campaign against every cut that we currently have to make to the nations budget insist that their pie in the sky measures could be paid for with "all the Oil and Gas off the West Coast".

To put it in context, exploration has been pursued off the Irish coast since the 1960s, in that time hundreds of test bores have been drilled. The only finds of Gas have been Corrib, Old head of Kinsale, Seven Heads plus a small find off Cork. Likewise a tiny oil field was found off Waterford and heavily diluted Oil was found near the porcupine trough. All of these finds are miniscule in a global context, some are so small as to be uneconomic, even with the current high prices of commodities.

I can't remember the exact figure but, in Ireland something like only 0.5-1% of wells bored yeild any finds as opposed to about 25% in Norwegian waters!

C
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 02:45 PM   #8
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Hi folks

Reading this thread with interest as an Irish journalist recently starting to write about oil and gas news. Here's a piece I just wrote about Irish offshore.

---

'Time for industry rethink' on Ireland

Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly has said he believes the Barryroe oil discovery currently being appraised could trigger a “complete industry re-appraisal of the Irish offshore”.

Upstream staff 22 December 2011 12:09 GMT

The Irish explorer said November’s spudding of the 48/24-J appraisal well at the prospect off southern Ireland was a “momentous occasion...that should not be underestimated”.

"Whilst the drilling operations are still ongoing...we are geologically on prognosis, with the main oil bearing reservoir objectives lying ahead of the drill bit”, O’Reilly said in the company’s end of year trading statement released on Thursday.

He added that fresh 3D seismic data made the player confident of the delineation of its oil targets at Barryroe.

The well aims to appraise the previous discovery well operated by Marathon Oil in 1990 which tested at around 1600 barrels of oil from Base Cretaceous sands.

Drilling got underway on 20 November using the GSF Artic III semi-submersible rig, and was expected to take 60 days.

Historically, Ireland’s oil and gas resources have been considered too difficult to extract, and long-running protests over Shell’s Corrib gas field may have put explorers off investing in the country.

However, O’Reilly says he believes this has now changed thanks to better technology, higher oil prices and lower taxes.

"Given recent industry advances in technology and pricing, as well as Ireland's now established infrastructure and fiscal regime, it is our firm view that the time has now come for Ireland's hydrocarbon potential to be realised”, O’Reilly said.

Providence holds a 50% interest in the Standard Exploration Licence 1/11 area that contains Barryroe, with compatriot partners San Leon Energy on 30% and Lansdowne Oil & Gas on 20%.

O’Reilly’s comments echo that of Lansdowne chief executive Steve Boldy, who told Upstream last month he was confident that Barryroe was would be “the ‘game changer’ needed to attract additional international oil companies back”.

For Providence, the drilling marks the start of a multi-well, multi-year drilling programme at six basins that is the largest of its kind ever undertaken offshore Ireland.

During 2011, the company sold off its interests in the Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria, and picked up licences for 22 blocks offshore Ireland.

Providence is also continuing a drilling programme at its producing onshore UK asset, Singleton, where it hopes to ramp up production to 1500 barrels of oil equivalent next year from the current 900.

Published: 22 December 2011 12:09 GMT | Last updated: 0 minute ago

-----------
Bill Lehane - Irish journalist and writer in London
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Old December 22nd, 2011, 05:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for that LehaneB: Welcome to Skyscrapercity:P

Interesting article. However, we shouldn't count our chickens just yet.....there have been alot of false dawns regarding Irish exploration in the past!

C
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Old December 29th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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10 billion barrels?

It can't be that hard to find?
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM6721 View Post
10 billion barrels?

It can't be that hard to find?
It'd be very hard to find if it doesn't exist.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Plan to seek oil, gas off Dublin displayed

TIM O'BRIEN

Fri, Jan 06, 2012

An application to explore for oil and gas off the coast of Dublin in an area known as the “Kish Bank Basin” has gone on public display, writes Tim O’Brien

The application for a foreshore licence was lodged by Providence Resources.

Providence said plans for an exploratory well – known as the Dalkey Island project – would be available for inspection in Dalkey and Dún Laoghaire Garda stations for 21 working days.

The company, backed by businessman and former Dún Laoghaire TD Dr Brian Hillery, and Tony O’Reilly, son of the newspaper magnate, wants to establish whether oil or gas is present in the area.

If present, the company hopes to determine whether quantities are commercial. The licence would allow the partnership to undertake seismic and site surveys, and drill an exploration well.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old January 6th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #13
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Do you guys honestly believe we will strike oil and if so what do you think will happen.
Would we be rich or would we even get a penny out of it.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 04:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JD47 View Post
Do you guys honestly believe we will strike oil and if so what do you think will happen.
Would we be rich or would we even get a penny out of it.
It'd be fantastic to strike it rich, but I have no idea what the odds of that are happening. At the moment, I'm not holding my breath.

What would happen depends on how much is found, where it's found and who is in government at the time. If we're talking Norway-sized deposits, hopefully they'd set up a Statoil-type operation and do what Norway has done (put the money into a pension fund rather than fund current state spending like the rentier states of the Middle East do). I'm not 100% certain, but I think I remember reading (or seeing/hearing) Enda Kenny talk about doing such a thing if substantial deposits are ever found. I'd imagine that Labour, Sinn Féin and the Socialists would all have the same opinion.

At the moment, however, the current oil regime and tax set-up makes the most sense.
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Old January 8th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catmalojin View Post
It'd be fantastic to strike it rich, but I have no idea what the odds of that are happening. At the moment, I'm not holding my breath.

What would happen depends on how much is found, where it's found and who is in government at the time. If we're talking Norway-sized deposits, hopefully they'd set up a Statoil-type operation and do what Norway has done (put the money into a pension fund rather than fund current state spending like the rentier states of the Middle East do). I'm not 100% certain, but I think I remember reading (or seeing/hearing) Enda Kenny talk about doing such a thing if substantial deposits are ever found. I'd imagine that Labour, Sinn Féin and the Socialists would all have the same opinion.

At the moment, however, the current oil regime and tax set-up makes the most sense.
If they found a hell of a lot of it then I would not mind if they put a bit of money into funding some major projects. Such as Metro North, Bridge to Britain, maybe some skyscrapers etc.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #16
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Have you any idea how much a bridge to Britain would cost?!
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Old January 9th, 2012, 08:20 PM   #17
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Have you any idea how much a bridge to Britain would cost?!
I know it would cost billions but if the money was there why not then.
If I was in goverment I would try make it happen and it would do a lot for both economys.
It would be my goverments mark on Ireland.
What a bridge that would be.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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I'd rather oil money, which is highly unlikely to ever materialise, be spent on beneficial projects and invested for the long-term financial security of Ireland. Things such as addressing the shocking poverty and income inequality present in Ireland and new investments in education and healthcare.

The bridge would near 100 billion, it's totally unrealistic and will never happen.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #19
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A bridge (or tunnel) between Ireland and Britain will continue to be economically non-viable so no way should money ever be wasted on even considering it. Also, governments shouldn't (normally ) be in the business of developing buildings, including skyscrapers.

I agree with belfastuniguy when he says projects should benefit Ireland in the long-term. This would involve things such as infrastructure projects with a good chance of a return on investment (things like Metro North, DART Underground, Dublin's Eastern bypass, super-fast broadband nationwide, etc.), and using an increased tax take to improve funding in education (in particular) and healthcare. However, to say that income inequality and poverty in the Republic are 'shocking' seems to ignore the fact that, according to Eurostat, things such as Gini coefficient, inequality of income distribution (S80/S20 quintile ratio), at-risk poverty rates (after social transfers; though not before which is pretty crucial), are better in Ireland than the EU average, and also better than in the UK as well. Of course, things can always be better.

Of course, all of this remains unlikely as we haven't found a single drop of oil yet. Even our gas finds have been minuscule in comparison to Norway's, for example.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
Councillors back fracking ban

GORDON DEEGAN

Tue, Jan 10, 2012

CLARE COUNTY Council last night became the first local authority to agree to put in place a ban on fracking in its county development plan.

At a highly charged January meeting of the council, the 32 members voiced their complete opposition to fracking taking place in the county.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial technique to extract natural gas from shale.

Before a packed public gallery at the council chamber last night, the members voted unanimously to amend their county development plan to put a halt to all intrusive fracking or shale gas extraction-related activity.

After Clare’s mayor, Cllr Pat Hayes (FF), announced the unanimous decision, fracking opponents applauded from the public gallery.

The ban comes against the background of a Canadian-owned, UK-based firm, Enegi Oil, securing a licence from the Department of Energy to carry out exploratory work on 495 sq miles to establish its potential for a commercially viable deposit of shale natural gas.

The proposed amendment to the development plan is not expected to affect Enegi’s activities in investigating the feasibility of examining the stretch of land from Loop Head north to the Cliffs of Moher and east to mid-Clare.

© 2012 The Irish Times
...
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