Providence Resources, an Irish oil and gas explorer, said it believes its licences and leases for exploration will be allowed to progress for their full duration despite comments from the Taoiseach on Monday which stated the Government’s intention to phase out oil exploration licences.
At the UN Climate Action Summit, Leo Varadkar said exploration for oil will end, while gas exploration will be permitted for some time.
The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment subsequently said that no new oil licences will be permitted for the Atlantic “closed” area, which accounts for about 80 per cent of our waters.
However, licences in the Irish and Celtic seas will still be granted, a detail of material importance to Providence given that its Barryroe prospect is based in the Celtic sea.
In a statement on Tuesday, Providence also quoted a statement released by the Irish Offshore Operators Association. They said they “look forward to receiving the exact detail of the proposed implementation of” the Taoiseach’s announcement.
Environmental and development organisations including the Green Party yesterday welcomed the announcement, but warned that reliance on gas could not be justified and contradicted what the best climate science is saying.
Providence, led by Tony O’Reilly jnr, has been the subject of some uncertainty as to its future funding pipeline. Chinese backers for its Barryroe prospect, Apec, are now due to submit funding of some $9 million (€8.1 million) by September 30th, following persistent delays.