DUBLIN --Ireland's government has received two applications for its 2009 Rockall licensing round. The acreage on offer covered an area of around 117,200 sq km (45,251 sq mi) off the Irish west coast.
The two interested parties were UK independent Serica Energy, which already has an interest in one Irish frontier exploration license; and a group led by Providence Resources, in partnership with OMV (Exploration) and Sosina Exploration. This trio are also involved in existing permits off Ireland.
Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources Minister Eamon Ryan said: "While exploration in remote deepwater areas such as the Rockall basin is difficult and costly, there is significant potential reward.
"The fact that companies already operating in the Irish offshore have sought additional acreage and are prepared to commit to investing further in exploration is a positive signal."
Following a period of evaluation, the Ministry will decide whether to issue any new awards. Licenses granted under this round would incur a tax rate of up to 40%.