The details of CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited's application to undertake drilling of the exploratory Iolar Well on Frontier Exploration Licence 3/18 in the Porcupine Basin, including the reasons for the decision to grant the application, are published on my Department's website.
The decision to grant the application is in accord with the Energy White Paper, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future 2015-30, which sets out Government energy policy in respect of Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy. The White Paper is clear that fossil fuel energy sources will continue to make a significant, though progressively smaller contribution to our energy mix over the course of the energy transition. It notes that as Ireland makes this transition the development of Ireland’s indigenous oil and gas resources has the potential to deliver significant and sustained benefits, particularly in terms of enhanced security of supply, import substitution, fiscal return and national and local economic development.
The Energy White Paper has been followed by the development and approval of Ireland's first National Mitigation Plan in 2017. The All of Government Climate Plan, which will be published shortly, will set out a concrete set of policies which will further cut Ireland's reliance on fossil fuels in electricity, transport, the built environment and other sectors.