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Petrel was formed in 1982 to explore offshore Ireland. As a result the team has long experience and knowledge of Irish offshore.

Why now?

  • Oil price is relatively high c. $53 – vs long-term average of c.$25 a barrel
  • Majors planning new province opening wells
  • “Eastern Canada” Play (pre and syn-rift Jurassic targets)
  • “Western Africa” Play (Cretaceous targets)
  • Low entry cost (modest work commitments)
  • Attractive fiscal terms (29% – 55% state take)
  • Many provinces now closed to international companies

Petrel holds 10% (W.I.) of Frontier License 11/18, operated by Woodside, Australia’s leading oil and gas company.

  • Woodside’s sole application area in the 2015 Bid Round
  • Principally mid-depth (both water and rock) Cretaceous targets
  • >1,600km2 of state-of-the-art 3D seismic acquired without problems in 2016
  • Modest water depth
  • Multiple plays identified in different rock levels
  • Woodside seeking to farm down

Petrel operates 100% of Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 3/14.  Work programme accepted through August 2019.

Petrel also operates 100% of Licence Option (LO) 16/24, close to mobile oil at the BP Connemara oil discovery.  Application submitted to enter the FEL phase, with focused work programme.



The legacy of having explored the Irish offshore ensured that Petrel had access to 19,000 sq km of 2 D seismic prior to the licensing options. Our geologists already had a good knowledge of the basin which allowed us to narrow our areas of focus. Further, high-quality 3D seismic has acquired, carried by partners, and interpreted.

As operating and capital costs have fallen since 2014, the key variables are oil price and fiscal terms.

As of 2019, the oil price is underwritten by the OPEC+Russia deal of November 2016, and strengthened by ongoing US sanctions on Russia, Iran, and Venezuela – aggravated by Middle East issues.

The Irish terms remain some of the most competitive of any oil province:

Attractive “2007” Fiscal Terms Apply to FEL 3/14

  • No royalties, no state carry, no bonuses
  • Standard 25% tax rate with free depreciation and standard write-offs
  • A ‘bonus tax’ if a bonanza:
    • A total 30% if profit is between 1.5 and 3 times total costs
    • A total 35% if profit is between 3 and 4.5 times total costs
    • A total 40% if profit is over 4.5 times total costs
  • Minimal bonding
  • Standard VAT, payroll taxes
  • No special burdens on extractive industries
  • 2015 tax changes were not retrospective

Irish fiscal terms for blocks awarded in the 2015 bid round (including FEL 11/18 and LO 16/24) are higher, though still competitive internationally:

  • Now 5% royalty on production, but no state carry or back-in rights
  • Then calculate field profit (‘R factor’ = revenue / costs)
  • ‘Petroleum Profits Tax’, if any, set against royalty :
  • None if profit is under 1.5 times total costs
  • 10% if profit is 1.5 times total costs, then pro rata up to
  • Maximum 40% if profit is > 4.5 times total costs
  • Then Standard Corporate 25% resource tax rate applies, with free depreciation and standard write-offs:

(e.g. 0.25x (1-.40) = 0.15 (or 0.15 + 0.40 = 0.55 in total)

  • But much value added will be in other taxes (income, PRSI, VAT) on producers and their contractors
  • In mining the multiplier effect can be 9x
  • So the total state take is likely to be > 50%
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