Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Questions (280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

288 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he has received communication from any of the parties involved in the delivery of natural gas from the Corrib gas field; if agreement has been reached with a view to delivery of supply to the consumer in early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27041/06]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 27 and 34 of today.

Over the course of the project my Department has had detailed communication with the developers of the Corrib Gas Field on matters relating to the project.

In relation to the supply of gas to consumers, completion of the development works by the developer is clearly the principal factor that will determine the date for first gas.

John Perry

Question:

289 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his views on whether the petroleum affairs division are doing enough to encourage Irish businesses to participate in exploration and production here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27187/06]

View answer

John Perry

Question:

290 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his views on whether the petroleum affairs division facilitates mechanisms whereby Irish businesses benefit from exploration and production here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27188/06]

View answer

I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.

The objective of my Department in promoting the Irish offshore is to attract a good amount of interest from competent companies to undertake exploration here. While it is of course open to Irish companies along with international companies to seek exploration licences, my Department does not and could not discriminate in favour of Irish companies. The activity generated by exploration companies operating here generates opportunities for Irish companies involved in shipping, engineering and other relevant sectors.

John Perry

Question:

291 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources when there will be a decision on the latest licensing round relating to oil production and exploration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27189/06]

View answer

John Perry

Question:

292 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if any of the present applicants in relation to oil production and exploration are returning anything to the local economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27190/06]

View answer

Licensing rounds are held from time to time to stimulate interest in exploration of our territory or identified parts of it.

The stated criteria to be taken into account in considering applications are: the work programme proposed by the applicant; the technical competence and offshore experience of the applicant; the financial resources available to the applicant; and where relevant, previous performance by the applicant under any authorisations to which the applicant has been a party.

I do not propose to go into the detail of individual applications in respect of a process that is ongoing.

John Perry

Question:

293 Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if there is an Irish company in the latest licensing round relating to oil production and exploration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27192/06]

View answer

I would refer the Deputy to the contents of a press release issued by my Department on 23 March this year in which the following applicants were named: Statoil Exploration (Ireland) Limited with Shell E. & P, Ireland Limited as a partner; Serica Energy (UK) Limited; Island Oil & Gas plc with Lundin Exploration BV and Endeavour Energy (UK) Limited as partners; Island Oil & Gas plc with Lundin Exploration BV and Endeavour Energy (UK) Limited as partners; Grianán Energy Limited.

I expect to announce the result of the round shortly.