On 28 May the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment granted consent for an exploratory oil and gas well off the Kerry coast under the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development Act (1960).
The department received an application last November from CNOOC Petroleum Europe (a subsidiary of the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company) and Exxonmobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore South) Ltd for permission to drill an exploratory well in the Porcupine Basin area.
The proposed well is within an area of 1,300 sq. km where CNOOC and Exxonmobil already have an exploration licence until February 2033.
A letter from the minister of state, Seán Canney, grants consent for the placing of a temporary well head and associated infrastructure on the seabed. The minister says that the development of Ireland’s indigenous oil and gas resources has the potential to “deliver significant and sustained benefits” in securing an indigenous energy supply over imports, economic development, and financial return.
But it will produce little for the Irish people, only potential vast profits for global oil giants and their shareholders.