Thursday, 4 July 2019

Ceisteanna (25, 27)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

25. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when a decision will be made on outstanding applications for petroleum licences, leases and undertakings; and if in the event of refusal to grant a licence, it is practice to return application fees. [28533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

27. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason one application in relation to applications for lease undertakings is outstanding for a number of years; the reason for a such delay; and when a decision will be made. [28535/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 27 together.

Applications received for a petroleum authorisation are considered against the criteria outlined in article 3 of the Licensing Terms for Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Development and Production 2007. In particular, applicants must demonstrate that the work programme proposed in their application will progress understanding of the petroleum prospectivity of the Irish Offshore and that the applicant(s) have the financial and technical capability to undertake the proposed work programme. It should be noted that an application may be made by a joint venture comprising a number of parties. In that regard the consideration of applications is a complex process, which as in the case of some current applications can take some time to bring to conclusion.

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 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. Applications not granted are not published.

In the event of a decision not to grant an application for a petroleum authorisation, such decision having been made following due consideration of the application, it is not practice to refund the application fee.

Question No. 26 answered with Question No. 21.
Question No. 27 answered with Question No. 25.