Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (367)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

367. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will wait until the results of the environmental impact assessment study have come back and are fully considered before granting any exploration licence for onshore shale gas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12840/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I can confirm that two of the three companies granted onshore licensing options in February 2011 have submitted applications for a follow-on exploration licence. My Department will shortly commence its evaluation, focusing on the technical rationale underpinning the applications, along with the corporate information provided. Where the outcome of this stage of the evaluation is positive, further consideration of the application will then be put on hold until after the findings of the new EPA research have been published.

In addition, I can confirm that I do not propose to consider applications for exploration authorisations in respect of other onshore areas until the EPA research has concluded.