The Isle of Man's Department of Economic Development is seeking expressions of interest to undertake 3D seismic studies in the Isle of Man’s territorial sea, in the East Irish Sea, ahead of a hydrocarbon exploration licensing round.
The department wants seismic data in order to provide information about potential reserves, thought to be predominantly natural gas.
Graham Cregeen MHK, the Department’s Political Member with responsibility for Energy said: "This process is consistent with the Isle of Man’s Vision2020 strategy that includes offshore energy as an important source of potential economic benefit for the Island.
"The survey would be carried-out at nil cost to the Isle of Man Government and it will be for the contractor to recover costs through the subsequent sale of the data to companies participating in any future hydrocarbon licensing round."
The Department has been working closely with the Department of Infrastructure, Department of Environment Food and Agriculture and other key stakeholders to explore opportunities for offshore energy production.
In April 2014 Tynwald voted to approve the Offshore Energy Strategy Report presented by the Council of Ministers to support the development of hydrocarbon energy sources.
The Isle of Man Government owns the seabed up to 12 miles (around 4000sq km) and all the hydrocarbon resources below the seabed.
The Isle of Man is a self-governing dependency of the British Crown, not part of the UK.