The Irish Government has decided to undertake a seismic survey of the country’s Atlantic coast, in order to attract oil and gas exploration companies.
According to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, it is expected to be the largest regional seismic study in offshore Ireland and will also serve as a scientific study for the broader research industry.
Italy-based multinational oil and gas company Eni‘s subsidiary, Eni Ireland, which is involved in several exploration licenses in the Irish offshore area, will perform the survey, jointly with the department, in the Atlantic waters of the Irish-designated Continental Shelf.
The department will bear nearly 20% of the survey cost, which will come through a research fund generated by income from the industry and contributed to through license obligations. Eni will bear the remaining cost for the survey, while the state will retain the rights to all data collected during the process, reported Indepnedent.ie.
Ireland Natural Resources Minister, Fergus O’Dowd, who granted approval for the survey, was quoted by the publication as saying that it will provide a regional grid of high-quality seismic data over Ireland’s frontier basins.
"The 18,000km full-fold seismic survey is also designed to infill data gaps that exist, particularly in the Southern Porcupine, Rockall and Hatton basins," O’Dowd added.
"Most importantly, the survey should go a long way towards revealing the true oil and gas potential of Ireland’s frontier basins. The data should allow resource potential to be predicted with much greater confidence and enable both the industry and the government to adequately evaluate future licensing opportunities."
According to Ireland’s Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA), Irish offshore is currently not explored to a large extent, while only about five percent of it is under licence.
Image: The seismic survey is expected to reveal the true potential of Ireland’s Atlantic Coast. Photo courtesy of Chmee2.