Offshore oil rig

Ireland welcomes international majors


DUBLIN, February 11, 2016 – Major international oil companies have scooped up offshore exploration acreage in the South Porcupine Basin, Irish officials announced on Thursday. Located in Ireland’s deepwater Atlantic margin, licences were awarded to China National Offshore Company subsidiary Nexen, Eni and junior partner BP, ExxonMobil, Norway’s Statoil, Australian independent Woodside Petroleum and UK explorer Europa Oil & Gas.


ExxonMobil and Statoil will partner for six licensing options, four of which are to be operated by the US major. Nexen snapped up four licensing options. The other bidders picked up one licensing option each. Surveying work is expected to kick off this summer.

According to Minister of State and the Department of Communication John McHugh, there were 43 applicants for the round by the September 2015 deadline. The second tranche of licenses are expected to be awarded in May 2016.