Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Questions (268)

Bríd Smith

Question:

268. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications the number, categories and expected expiration date of all existing licences in relation to current licences issued by his Department for oil and gas exploration; the number of applications currently with his Department for renewal of any of these licences; the number of applications with his Department for a progression from one type of licence to another; and if, under the terms and conditions of these licences, the Government has the right to refuse extensions or progression of existing licences in the public good or on other environmental grounds. [33299/20]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Section 57 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act 1960 requires that I lay before the Houses of the Oireachtas every six months a report detailing all exploration activities, including petroleum exploration authorisations granted during the period of the report. The last such report laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas was in respect of the six-month period ending 30 June 2020. In addition, a report on the status of all petroleum authorisations is published on a quarterly basis on gov.ie (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/10d43-acreage-reports-and-concession-maps/). The most recent such report was published in respect of the three month period ending 30 September 2020. This report contains the information requested by the Deputy in relation to the categories and expected expiration date of existing licences for oil and gas exploration. In relation to applications for renewals and progressions, the following are under consideration by my Department:

Extensions

3

Application for Licensing Option

1

Application for conversion from Licensing Option to Exploration Licence

4

Application for conversion from Exploration Licence to Lease Undertaking

2

Applications for authorisations received by my Department are assessed against a number of criteria in accordance with Section 3 of the Licensing Terms for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Development and Production. This includes the technical competence of the applicant, the financial resources available to it, and the applicant’s policy to health, safety and the environment. The Licensing Terms also set out that the receipt of an application creates no obligation on my part to grant any authorisation.

Question No. 269 answered with Question No. 253.