DUBLIN -- Minister Seán Power has announced the opening of the 2009 Rockall licensing round and published the details of the round.
Under the 2009 Rockall licensing round, oil and gas exploration companies will be invited to apply for new frontier exploration licenses in the Rockall basin. The acreage on offer in the Rockall basin to the west of Ireland covers unlicensed blocks in an area of approximately 117,200 sq km (45,251 sq mi).
In advance of decisions on the award of licenses, a comprehensive Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the region is being undertaken by external environmental experts ERT and Aqua Fact, and the post-consultation report will be available, according to the Minister. The SEA will inform the industry of the environmental characteristics and sensitivities of the basin, and will make recommendations to the Minister as to how these should be addressed.
Applications for frontier exploration licenses covering blocks in the round may be submitted up to noon on April 22, 2009. The terms for the round provide that applications may be made for a minimum of two blocks and for a maximum of eight blocks.