Santos to invest €8m in firm with plans to drill in Ireland
Australian exploration giant Santos plans to invest €8 million in Tamboran Resources, the company with controversial plans to drill for natural gas in Leitrim and Fermanagh.
It has also emerged that an independent organisation, US-based MHA Petroleum Consulting, has estimated the area covered by Tamboran's licence options in the Republic and Northern Ireland could contain 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.
This is about 30 per cent less than the 4.4 trillion Tamboran said earlier this year that the reservoir, stretching across Leitrim and Fermanagh, could contain.
The company obtained the new estimate at the end of November as part of the licensing process it has to through with the Department of Energy and Natural Resources.
Tamboran announced yesterday that Australian oil and gas exploration and production group Santos has agreed to pay Aus$10 million (€8 million) for a 14 per cent stake in the company.
The agreement is part of an overall deal that also will see Santos take an initial 50 per cent share of all Tamboran's interests in northwestern Australia in return for funding a $41 million development programme.
The €8 million raised from Santos's purchase of its 14 per cent stake will be used to fund development programmes across Ireland, Australia and Botswana.
Tamboran plans hydraulic fracturing - fracking - in Ireland. Local groups are strongly opposed to this system.
The Government has yet to decide whether to permit fracking and it could be 2016 before Tamboran can begin any meaningful drilling in either Leitrim or Fermanagh.