Tuesday 24 April 2018

Kinsale gas fields have just five years left

Kinsale Energy’s Alpha platform which brings gas from the Kinsale field onshore
Kinsale Energy’s Alpha platform which brings gas from the Kinsale field onshore
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Ireland's first ever commercialised gas find has about five years left before operations will close down.

The Kinsale Head gas field is located about 50km off the coast of Cork. It was discovered in 1973 by US company Marathon Oil, followed by three satellite gas fields - Ballycotton, Southwest Kinsale and Seven Sisters. Until very recently these were the only offshore Irish gas discoveries to ever make it to production; that title was lost when Shell began piping gas inland from the Corrib field in Mayo earlier this winter.

Malaysian company Petronas bought the Kinsale assets in 2009. They have been in decline for some time but it will be five years until they are completely exhausted. At present one of the four fields, Southwest, is being used as an offshore gas storage facility to hold natural gas piped in from the UK.

In other energy news, the Department of Energy is preparing to release the outcome of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. This licensing round, which will award companies the right to explore various parts of offshore Ireland, attracted more attention from explorers than ever before. A total of 43 applications were received, with several oil and gas majors rumoured to be in the mix. The previous 2011 round attracted just 13 applications by comparison, which was a record number at that time.

A spokesperson said that because of the number and complexity of the applications, a two-phased approach to the award of licensing options is being taken. The first round will focus on applications which are committing to carrying out seismic surveys. The first round of awards will be made by mid-February 2016, the spokes- person said.

Sunday Indo Business

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