Shell continues divestment streak with Irish sale

13 Jul 2017   Ireland

Shell said it’s past the halfway point in its three-year divestment streak after shedding its stake in a natural gas field off the coast of Ireland. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI July 12 (UPI) — The $1.23 billion gained from leaving parts of the Irish energy sector puts Shell past the halfway point for its total divestment goal, a company director said. Shell said a subsidiary was selling off its 45 percent stake in the Corrib natural gas venture as part of a broader divestment effort. Andy Brown, the company’s director for exploration and production, said the sale is part of Shell’s effort to reshape its portfolio for future value. “It demonstrates the strong momentum behind our three-year $30 billion divestment program,” he said in a statement . “At the half-way point, we have now announced deals valued at more than $20 billion.” In May, Shell’s aviation subsidiary in […]

Prospects for Irish explorer Circle Oil dwindle

30 Dec 2016   Ireland

Irish exploration company Circle Oil said its listing on the London stock exchange will be canceled by the end of the week amid financial strains. “The company’s financial position remains under significant pressure,” it said in a statement. The company in March embarked on a strategic review, with a potential sale offering or merger with a third party among the options. By June, the company suspended its shares on the London exchange after its own strategy review found a debt load exceeded $75 million. When oil prices were holding above $100 per barrel more than two years ago, the company said it was “very pleased” with its prospects in Morocco in particular. Elsewhere in the region, however, the company said irregular payment schedules from its clients in Egypt made covering its short-term debt obligations difficult at best. In its latest statement , the […]

Irish rebound possible for oil, gas explorer Providence

24 Jun 2016   Ireland

After agreeing to a program aimed at raising capital, Irish oil and gas company Providence said it would examine frontier area oil and gas prospects. Providence said it was offered a license in the frontier basins off the Irish coast in the Atlantic Ocean. John O’Sullivan, the company’s technical director, said in a statement the option in the Porcupine basin offshore has displayed characteristics that so far demonstrate “the presence of an active petroleum system in this area.” The Irish government offered 14 licensing options after wrapping up its 2015 auction for the Atlantic earlier this month. That built on the 28 options awarded during round one, which concluded in February. Last year, junior explorer Europa Oil & Gas said preliminary data found prospective resources of 1.49 […]

Ireland aims for greener future

8 Jun 2016   Ireland, Wind

One day after signing a European commitment on offshore wind, the Irish government said it can only realize its true potential through regional collaboration. “Ireland has the best offshore energy potential in Europe but we need to work with our colleagues across the EU to turn this potential into electricity,” Irish Environment Minister Denis Naughten said in a statement emailed from Luxembourg. Naughten’s was among the nine signatures added to a declaration signed by members of the European Union that share a border with the North Sea. The members agreed that closer cooperation in avenues like grid connectivity could advance regional developments for offshore wind. With a maritime acreage 10 times the size of its […]

Ireland sees interest in offshore reserves

4 Jun 2016   Ireland

The response to the latest offerings for the rights to examine the oil and gas potential off the Irish coast has been significant, the government said. The Irish government said it offered 14 licensing options after wrapping up its 2015 auction for the Atlantic. That builds on the 28 options awarded during round one, which concluded in February. Minister of State for Natural Resources Sean Kyne said the industry interest so far shows that most players are confident about the prospects for reserves off the Irish coast. “The response to the 2015 Atlantic Margin licensing round is by far the largest number of applications received in any licensing round held in the Irish offshore,” he said in an emailed […]

Statoil to explore offshore Ireland

3 Mar 2016   Ireland

Following a successful 2015 auction, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was building a better position in the emerging reserve potential offshore Ireland. Statoil, alongside Exxon Mobil, was awarded the rights to explore roughly 2,900 square miles of the deep waters off the Irish coast. “This supports Statoil`s exploration strategy of early access at scale,” Erling Vagnes, a regional vice president for Statoil said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Exxon Mobil on exploring these opportunities.” The six licenses to be shared by Statoil and Exxon Mobil are in the Porcupine basin in the Atlantic Ocean. The Norwegian company said preliminary work through 2017 would focus on seismic research to get a better […]

Ireland’s Corrib Field Now Producing Natural Gas

31 Dec 2015   Ireland

Shell and its partners this week began piping gas from the offshore Corrib field to an inland terminal after gaining final consent on Tuesday from Ireland’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The Corrib gas field, one of four commercial gas finds in Ireland’s history, was found by Enterprise Oil PLC in 1996 in the Atlantic Ocean about 83 kilometers (52 miles) off the coast of rural County Mayo. Shell acquired Enterprise in 2002 , but the Anglo-Dutch firm’s plans to build an onshore pipeline to transport the Corrib field’s gas to a terminal it would construct at Bellanaboy in County Mayo met with fierce local opposition. That resistance focused on concerns about the safety of the pipeline and its effects on the environment. It led to changes to the pipeline’s path, including routing it through a 4.9 kilometer (3 miles long) tunnel, the longest in Ireland, that […]

Ireland’s energy crisis

23 Feb 2015   Ireland

Energy is not one of Ireland’s strengths: we import almost 90 per cent of our power, we’ve made little progress in renewables, and we’re at the mercy of an unstable global market. Where will Ireland get its energy in years to come? Besides worries about climate change and security of supply, Ireland faces a capacity issue. A nuclear reactor is unlikely ever to dominate the landscape of Carnsore, Co Wexford. In Co Leitrim not a single rock has been fracked – and none might ever be. Yet nuclear power and hydraulic fracturing are already in Ireland. And although a large part of the population doesn’t want these two controversial power sources anywhere on the island, our purchase of their product is why energy is cheaper now than it has been for almost a decade. Ireland imports electricity derived from nuclear power from the UK through […]

Ireland takes steps toward wave energy

27 Sep 2014   Ireland, Waves

Wave energy pioneer Pelamis said Friday it was put on the short list of companies slated for a role alongside Irish utility company ESB. The Irish government aims to install its first wave energy project, the five megawatt WestWave facilities, by 2018. It’s already secured support from the European Commission. Pelamis Wave Power said it’s been selected as one of the developers set to participate in the next stage of a competitive procurement process . Last year, the Pelamis P2 wave energy system was connected to the Scottish grid for an accumulated 7,500 hours, contributing 160 MW of electricity to the nation’s grid. The system works by converting wave energy into electricity using a snake-like device deployed offshore. Each unit in the system can generate as much as 100 kilowatts […]

Bombing targets Irish drilling campaign

6 Aug 2014   Ireland

An energy company planning to drill for shale natural gas in Northern Ireland said the home of one of its workers was bombed. Tamboran Resources said last month it aims to drill what it says was a “scientific borehole” at a site in Northern Ireland. Since the July 21 announcement, the company said it secured an injunction that prevents outsiders from interfering with its operations because of a string of protests. The company said its workers have been the target of threats from groups worried the drilling campaign would lead to hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling practice dubbed fracking. A petrol bomb was thrown at the home of one of the company’s workers, though nobody was injured in the attack. “This was an orchestrated and abhorrent attack on a local family in the middle of the night,” a statement published in the Daily Telegraph in London said Monday. “We […]

Where’s That Irish Oil, Investors Wonder Two Years Later

30 Jul 2014   Ireland

Ireland finally found treasure at the end of the rainbow, or so it seemed in 2012. After drilling in the North Celtic Sea Basin, about 40 miles off the Cork coast, Providence Resources Plc said its Barryroe oil field may hold as many as 1.6 billion barrels. The company’s shares surged, and the government hailed the first “significant” test of oil flows off Ireland for 12 years just as the nation’s debt-ravaged finances cried out for a boost. Two years later, Providence still hasn’t found a partner to develop Barryroe, production has been delayed and the company’s share price has dropped 84 percent. For Ireland, it’s turned into another stalled attempt to emulate the North Sea discoveries that transformed economies and are underpinning Scotland’s bid for independence. “Every couple of years we have the ‘black gold’ headlines, we are going to be the new North Sea,” Pat Shannon, geology […]

Ireland ready for offshore oil, gas auction

13 Nov 2013   Ireland

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 12 (UPI) — Irish Natural Resources Minister Fergus O’Dowd said his government aims to attract international investors to an offshore oil and gas auction next year. “It is important then that the state provides suitable opportunities for international investors and provides the right environment to encourage industry to take the risk associated with investing in exploration,” he said at a conference Monday in Dublin. O’Dowd said at the conference the government would open parts of its territorial waters up for auction starting in April. The auction will run through September 2015 and include an offer for a two-year license for exploration. No commercial discoveries have been made offshore Ireland since 1996. An energy exploration team led by Exxon Mobil announced in April it started drilling in the Porcupine Basin, a first for deepwater work off the Irish coast. O’Dowd said there “no guarantees” for offshore success, […]

Irish energy chief Pat Rabbitte attends launch of Tipperary wind farm

26 Oct 2013   Ireland, Wind

DUBLIN, Ireland, Oct. 25 (UPI) — A 40-megawatt wind farm now under construction in central Ireland will help the country move closer to its renewable energy targets, a government minister said. “Ireland has a challenging European Union renewable energy target to meet by 2020, which includes meeting 40 percent of electricity demand from renewable sources,” Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabbitte said Thursday at the launch of the wind farm in central Brukhana country in Tipperary. “We are making progress towards this target, however, and development of renewable generation of the scale we will see at Bruckhana is crucial for maintaining the rate of build necessary to achieve our EU target.” State utility company Bord na Mona is in charge of construction of the wind farm. No date for completion was given. The Irish government said it’s committed to meeting 40 percent of electricity demand through renewable resources […]