Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Ceisteanna (236)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

236. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 180 of 13 June 2019, the status of the licences; when they were applied for; the category of each; if the cost of the repayment of acreage rental fees identified in the same correspondence estimated at €1.5 million relates to all existing licences or specific licences; the category of the licences; if the figure of €1.5 million is for repayment in 2019; and if not, if it is for a defined period. [25793/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The following table sets out the applications for petroleum authorisations involving the award of acreage currently under consideration by my Department. No decision has been taken in respect of these applications.

Authorisation

Application

2012 to 2017

2018

2019

Licensing Option

2

Exploration Licence

5

3

Lease Undertaking

1

1

My letter to the Ceann Comhairle of 8 May 2019 referred to return of acreage fees for existing licences (petroleum authorisations) and estimated this to be in the region of €1 million to €2 million. This referred to existing petroleum authorisations involving the holding of acreage in particular Licensing Options, Exploration Licences (Standard and Frontier) and Lease Undertakings. Acreage rental fees are payable on the anniversary of award of a petroleum authorisation. Hence, the exact value of a return of fees, were it to take place, would vary depending on the timing of the repayment event.

Section 57 of the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act, 1960 requires the Minister to 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 2018. In addition, a report on the status of all petroleum authorisations is published on a quarterly basis on my Department's website. The most recent such report was published on 31 March 2019.

Question No. 237 answered with Question No. 234.