The Irish Offshore Operators Association (IOOA) anticipates increased interest in the latest round of applications for gas and oil exploration off the Donegal coast, with those applications closing today.
Gas and oil exploration companies will apply for new authorisations in the Atlantic Margin off Donegal.
The applications have the potential to boost the offshore oil industry in the county in several service sectors.
Industry sources told donegaldaily at a briefing yesterday that there is the potential for thousands of new jobs, with one insider insisting: “Killybegs could be the Donegal equivalent of Aberdeen with so many high-tech positions and well paid positions.
“But it will not just be about Killybegs; the whole county could get a lift from well-managed oil and gas exploration off our coast.”
It can take two years from exploration to drilling; but Ireland has lagged behind Britain in this sector.
The industry insider added: “We actually don’t know how much gas and oil is off our coast. There could be a multi-billion dollar fortune – and if there is, Donegal and the people of Donegal could benefit.”
Minister Pat Rabbitte is on record as saying that Ireland needed ‘‘more exploration for oil and gas, not less’’ and the country needed ‘‘more discoveries like the Corrib gas field’’.
He said that, without an increase in exploration, Ireland would not benefit from its indigenous natural resources.Tags: