PROVIDENCE Resources has been awarded a licence that will allow the company to go ahead with its exploration efforts near Dalkey Island.
The oil and gas exploration and production group has received a standard exploration licence in the Kish Bank Basin off the Dublin coast from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
This licence has been granted for up to six years and is split into two three-year phases. This will allow Providence to progress its plans to drill at least one well during the first phase.
It recently began the application process for a foreshore licence over the area to enable it to carry out well site surveys and drilling operations.
The company holds a 50pc interest in the licence and operates on behalf of its partner, Star Energy.
Previous exploration drilling in the Kish Bank Basin has confirmed the potential for petroleum generation, with oil shows seen in a number of wells.
Natural hydrocarbon seeps have also been recorded from airborne surveys. New analysis of seismic data has shown the presence of a large undrilled structural closure 10km off Dublin's coast that could signal the presence of oil.
Providence Resources has licences in Ireland, the UK and Nigeria.
This year it announced plans to invest more than $500m (€373m) with its partners in drilling exploration and development wells. This multi-year programme is the largest drilling campaign ever carried out off the Irish coast.