Thursday, 13 June 2019

Ceisteanna (180)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

180. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will address matters (details supplied) relating to applications for licences. [24690/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I wrote to the Joint Committee for Communications, Climate Action and Environment on 26 November 2018 and set out my concerns with regards to the financial impacts of the Bill referred to in the Question, which would lead to very significant financial risks to the State. In addition to the potential revenue lost by the State from a gas or oil discovery, and the legal costs and compensation costs that would fall on the Exchequer due to the implementation of the Bill, the enactment of the Bill would also have immediate financial consequences for the Exchequer, including repayment of application fees and the return of acreage rental fees.

In relation to the Deputy's query, there does not appear to be any reference to the number of applications in the letter of 22 May 2019 that I received from the Ceann Comhairle. However, I can advise you that there are applications for 12 petroleum authorisations, involving the award of acreage, currently under consideration by my Department. No decision has yet been made in respect of these applications, i.e. no authorisation has been granted in respect of these applications. Three of these applications were received prior to end 2017, five were received in 2018, and four were received in 2019. The form of authorisation sought is as follows:

Authorisation sought

No.

Licensing Option

2

Frontier Exploration Licence

8

Lease Undertaking

2

Total

12