Drilling for oil off Kerry Coast could take another 10 years

An energy company that’s carrying out explorations for oil and gas off the West Kerry coast says it could be 2025 before it drills for oil. Aras an Chontae, Kerry County Council Woodside Energy, a subsidiary of Australian company Woodside Petroleum Ltd, says its explorations in the Porcupine Basin are a long-term project. Woodside Energy has already spent €500,000 carrying out environmental studies on the Porcupine Basin. Its Ireland manager, Garreth Parry, told members of Kerry County Council it was aware of the coral bank in that area. He said it had also conducted a field study on whales in conjunction with the Marine Institute, which revealed Fin whales were in abundance there with increased whale activity in August. Mr Parry said the cost of drilling a well is around €200 million and there would have to be at least 170 million barrels of oil to make this financially viable. He told councillors that between 25 to 40pc of any fossil fuels discovered will belong to the Irish Government. Mr Parry said the company is also reviewing all ports in the area, including Fenit, for a base for its off-shore support, but no decision had been made on this yet. In response to questions by councillors, Mr Parry added the company was not in a position to invest in Shannon LNG as this did not fit in with its current business model.