Interest in offshore Ireland growing

July 1, 2013 at 7:25 AM

PERTH, Australia, July 1 (UPI) -- Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum said it bought a position in deepwater developments off the coast of Ireland.

An energy exploration team led by Exxon Mobil announced in April it started drilling in the Porcupine Basin off the coast of Ireland. The announcement marked a first for deepwater work off the Irish coast.

Woodside said it acquired a controlling stake in a dozen offshore blocks in the Porcupine Basin from Irish counterparts Bluestack Energy Ltd. and Petrel Resources. Woodside said the offers include any subsequent licenses for frontier exploration in the basin.

Woodside Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman said offshore Ireland was an emerging frontier with high potential.

"Woodside has an outstanding track record working in deepwater environments and these opportunities fit with our core capabilities and corporate strategy," he said last week in a statement.

Exxon in April gave no indication of the reserve potential offshore Ireland. It said there are no guarantees in frontier areas like Irish waters, "but a positive outcome has the potential to deliver significant industrial, social and economic benefits to Ireland."

Woodside said it will serve as the operator of the acquired blocks once the deal is approved by the Irish government.

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