Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (109)

Martin Ferris

Question:

109. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the amount of money that has been received from companies holding a licensing option in the past three years; if he will provide a breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9978/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The monies received from companies holding licensing options in the past 3 years in respect of application and rental fees is a follows:

2010

€56,711

2011

€253,586

2012

€453,651

2013

€104,506 (to date)

A licensing option may be granted for a period of up to three years. It is a preliminary authorisation and designed to allow companies assess the petroleum potential of an area, generally on the basis of existing data.

The holder of a licensing option has a right to apply for an exploration licence in respect of the area concerned and must do so by the end of option period, or else relinquish the acreage.

There are twenty two licensing options extant at present (nineteen in respect of the offshore and three in respect of the onshore). Thirteen of these options were granted in 2011 for a term of two years under the Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. Nineteen options in total are due to expire this year and the remaining three in 2014.