On 14 November 2018, my Department received an application from CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited (formerly known as Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited) to drill an exploratory well within Frontier Exploration Licence 3/18 in the Porcupine Basin. The Licence is operated by CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited and ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore South) Limited has a 50% non-operating interest in the Licence. This application is currently under consideration.
Neither I nor Minister Bruton have held discussions with representatives of Exxon Mobil or CNOOC Petroleum Europe in respect of this application.
In fulfilling their functions in respect of the regulation of oil and gas exploration and production activities, my officials would have cause to meet with representatives of companies holding petroleum authorisations in the Irish Offshore. In that context, my officials have met with representatives of both CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited and ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore South) Limited.