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Isle of Man launches licensing round

Written by  Wednesday, 13 September 2017 10:03

The Isle of Man has launched an offshore licensing round for acreage that has not been reviewed in more than 20 years.  

Isle of Man. Image from iStock.

Earlier this week, the state’s Department of Economic Development opened the round for hydrocarbon exploration in the Island’s waters, which is in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.

The Island’s licensing round coincides with the UK 30th round, which includes the Irish Sea area, allowing exploration teams to take a holistic view of the potential of the region. The licensing round will close on 10 December 2017. 

“It is my pleasure to announce this important step forward in the Department’s efforts to maximize the social and economic value of the Island’s territorial seabed, which is one of the commitments made in the Program for Government,” Lawrie Hooper MHK, Department Member with responsibility for Energy Policy said. “The subsurface of the seabed is an amazing natural resource which if harnessed could generate a significant source of revenue and help to further diversify the economy.’ 

The Department’s technical advisors, British Geological Survey (BGS), have a data room available for interested companies to view seismic data at their offices in Edinburgh. 

“The opening of the Isle of Man licensing round represents a great opportunity for developers. This acreage has not been looked at for more than 20 years, when gas was identified but not extracted,” Darren Jones, Petroleum Geologist with the BGS said. “Since then, there have been huge technological advances that mean any hydrocarbons in Isle of Man territorial seas may now be economically viable to extract.”

The Isle of Man has ownership of its territorial seas, and the seabed beneath those seas, up to the 12nm limit or the median line where the distance between the UK and Isle of Man baselines is less than 24nm. The Island has control of more than 4000sq km or the Irish Sea, representing more than 87% of the Island’s territory. Within this area, the government has an opportunity to produce offshore energy for export from wind, marine renewables and hydrocarbon resources.

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