Phasing out oil exploration in Ireland?


A chara, – As a former oil rig worker who worked across three decades in Irish, Scottish and Norwegian waters on oil platform construction, semi-submersible drilling rigs, drill ships and jackup rigs, I have yet to find a geologist or veteran driller who could tell whether they could discover gas and not oil in any exploration “wildcat” well into an unexplored geological zone such as a salt dome or faulting that shows potential for a hydrocarbon discovery.

Oil and gas are hydrocarbons and are covered by hydrocarbon licences from the State. Gas is part of oil. Some wells are dry. Some have more oil shows. Some have more gas shows. Much testing takes place before a well is declared commercial. Then it becomes either a gas or oil production operation. But there is no way of knowing what the ratio of oil or gas is in a wildcat exploration well.

So when the Government says it is banning oil exploration but not gas exploration, how do they know? I would love to know! – Is mise,


Barna, Galway.