Thursday 27 November 2014

Providence calls off Dalkey oil plans over legal fears

Exploration firm will re-apply once drilling laws are clarified

Published 13/02/2013 | 04:00

Undated handout photo issued by Providence Resources of the GSF Arctic III rig which was used in drilling at Barryroe, as Providence Resources said up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil have been uncovered in Barryroe, 50km from the west Cork coast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 25, 2012. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Oil. Photo credit should read: Providence Resources/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Undated handout photo issued by Providence Resources of the GSF Arctic III rig which was used in drilling at Barryroe, as Providence Resources said up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil have been uncovered in Barryroe, 50km from the west Cork coast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 25, 2012. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Oil. Photo credit should read: Providence Resources/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

PROVIDENCE Resources said it will delay controversial plans to drill for oil off Dalkey because the law is unclear.

The Irish oil company outraged the wealthy residents of the south-Dublin suburb when it got permission from the Department of the Environment to prospect for oil within view of the Dublin Bay.

This has triggered protests from many people living in Dalkey, which is home to U2 frontman Bono and fellow musician Van Morrison.

Providence said yesterday it made the decision after it became clear that certain elements in European Union laws dating back to 1999 weren't transposed correctly into Irish law.

Clarified

It has now handed back a licence to drill off Dalkey, although it will make a new application once the law has been clarified.

Planning Minister Jan O'Sullivan has said she will review the application.

Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly said the delays were "frustrating" but the company remains "very excited" about the potential in this part of the Irish Sea.

Providence holds a 50pc stake in the site while a subsidiary of Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas owns the rest.

Davy Stockbrokers said before yesterday's announcement that the Dalkey Bay project has a 20pc chance of success.

"Whilst it is frustrating that this situation has arisen and caused a delay to our planned activities, we feel it is in the best interests for all concerned to surrender the licence and allow the Government to make the necessary amendments and we can then make a new application to carry out our planned programme," Mr O'Reilly said.

The licence was granted in September with 22 conditions aimed at environmental protection, nature conservation, protection of marine mammals and fishery resources, preservation of archaeology, navigational safety, and human health and safety.

Shares in Dublin-based Providence were the best performing on the Dublin stock exchange last year as the exploration company made a series of announcements. Shares closed down 0.6pc to €6.99 last night.

Providence is currently engaged in the most expensive and expansive drilling campaign in Irish history.

In July, the company revealed the discovery of more than a billion barrels of oil in the Barryroe field about 30 miles south off Cork.

Irish Independent

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