* To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent of any commercial discoveries of oil, gas or other minerals on or offshore in the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th June, 2015.
(1306 Received on 11th June, 2015.)
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Joe McHugh)
There have been no commercial discoveries of oil or gas within the territory of the State in the past five years. There has, however, been a positive upswing in the level of petroleum exploration activity during this period, in particular acquisition of new seismic data.
While the number of active mineral prospecting licences, currently in excess of 580 licences, indicate the prevailing state of mineral exploration in Ireland, no new commercially viable deposits of minerals have been discovered either during this period. While there have, however, been some encouraging results, particularly in Counties Limerick and Clare, it is too early to determine whether these results will lead to identification of commercially viable deposits.