Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (80, 81, 82, 83)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

80. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of applications for open area exploration licences and licensing options received by his Department over the past five years; and the decision by his Department regarding each application in tabular form. [6819/21]

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Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

81. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of offshore oil and gas exploration licences that are currently open by the date each application was received in tabular form. [6820/21]

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Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

82. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of applications for extension to offshore oil and gas licensing terms received in his Department by month that the application was received and the decision by his Department in tabular form. [6821/21]

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Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

83. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications his plans to make details regarding applications for oil and gas exploration public on his Department’s website; and if it will be updated monthly. [6822/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 80 to 83, inclusive, together.

My Department does not publish information on individual licence applications. However, information in relation to applications for activities proposed to be carried out under a petroleum authorisation that are subject to assessment of compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, is published by my Department as part of individual consultation processes.

In addition, 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 31 December 2020. A report on the status of all petroleum authorisations is also 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 31 December 2020.

The tables below contain the information sought in relation to the numbers of:

- applications for open area exploration licences in the last 5 years;

- applications for licensing options in the last 5 years;

- live exploration licences; and,

- current applications for extensions.

Exploration Licence Applications - Open Areas (Celtic Sea and Irish Sea)

Year Received

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Under consideration

0

0

0

1

0

Granted

0

0

0

0

0

Received but subsequently Withdrawn

0

0

0

2

0

Total Applications Received

0

0

0

3

0

Licensing Option Applications - Open Areas (Celtic Sea and Irish Sea)

Year Received

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Under consideration

0

1

0

0

0

Granted

3

2

0

0

0

Refused

0

1

0

0

0

Received but subsequently Withdrawn

0

1

0

0

0

Total Applications Received

3

5

0

0

0

Current Exploration Licences

Year of Application

2004

2005

2006

2007

2011

2013

2017

2018

2019

Total

No. of Applications

2

1

3

1

1

4

1

4

2

19

Current Extensions Applications

Date Received

December 2012

January 2018

No. of Applications

1

2

A comparison of recent acreage reports will show the impact of recent regulatory changes.