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Europa Oil & Gas seeks clarity as Leo Varadkar reveals plan to ‘phase out’ Irish exploration

“The company understands that the phasing out of oil exploration only relates to future oil licences and not future gas licences”

Oil and gas drilling rig
Varadkar said natural gas would be needed for “decades to come”

Europa Oil & Gas Plc (LON:EOG) has told investors it is seeking clarification of the situation through the offices of the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association following a speech by Leo Varadkar to the United Nations climate summit on Monday.

Taoiseach Varadkar told world leaders in New York of Ireland’s intention to phase out oil exploration licences in the future - a revelation that naturally spooked investors that have backed venture’s offshore Ireland.

In a stock market statement, Europa said: “The company understands that the phasing out of oil exploration only relates to future oil licences and not future gas licences.  

“Furthermore, it is the company’s initial understanding that all of the options, licences and leases already in place will be allowed to progress for their full duration.”

For Europa, a silver lining of sorts comes in the form of Varadkar’s comment that gas resources would be needed as a ‘transition fuel’ for “decades to come”.

The AIM-quoted company has more than 6bn barrels worth of exploration targets, but, it fairly recently put its Inishkea gas portfolio at the top of its priorities list.

Inishkea is located in the neighbourhood of the large Corrib gas field and the portfolio comprises some 1.5trn cubic feet of gas potential across three licence areas.

Europa’s investors will perhaps also find some distraction in the company’s recent news announcement, last week, that it had landed the Inezgane project offshore Morocco.

The explorer revealed that it has been awarded an eight-year licence for the Inezgane area, which spans some 11,228 square kilometres – a number of prospects are seen to have the potential for upwards of 250mln barrels of crude.

Quick facts: Europa Oil & Gas Holdings PLC

Price: 2 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £8.89 m

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