Shares in Dublin headquartered Petrel Resources (LON:PET) soared almost 50 per cent as the group was awarded offshore acreage in the Porcupine basin today.
As a part of Ireland’s Irish Atlantic Margin licensing round Dublin headquartered Petrel was awarded two licence options over prospective acreage of the west coast of Ireland. The area spans 1,405 square kilometres.
A number of other AIM quoted explorers were also awarded licence options today with Providence Resources, San Leon Energy and Europa Oil and Gas all getting access to the newly opened up licences.
“This is excellent news,” said managing director David Horgan.
“The high hydrocarbon prices, fast-developing offshore technology and a proven hydrocarbon system means that Ireland's opportunity for offshore exploration has finally come.”
Hogan added: “There was considerable industry interest in the current round.
“We are delighted to have been offered two blocks. We have already started initial work and look forward to executing this exciting project.
“There will be discoveries in the Irish offshore."
Highlighting Ireland’s stance to encourage the development of a nascent oil and gas industry, Petrel explained that Ireland’s fiscal terms are competitive internationally.
It emphasised that Ireland has a special Corporate Tax rate of 25 per cent applying to profits from petroleum production and an additional Profit Resource tax of between 5 and 15 per cent that applies to more profitable fields.
Petrel also highlighted that Ireland is 58 per cent dependent on gas for electricity generation, and 95 per cent of that gas is imported.
The nascent oil industry could be set for a significant boost in the coming months, as Providence Resources leads the way with an extensive drill programme.
According to Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly, the pivotal Barryroe well - which is scheduled to spud this month - could trigger a complete industry re-appraisal of the Irish offshore oil exploration.
Barryroe is not the only high impact prospect for Providence however. It will be just the first in a series of wells in the company’s ambitious work programme. This will represent the most significant and comprehensive drill campaign ever undertaken in the waters around the emerald Isle.