IRELAND has decided to extend the area to be opened for licensing in the 2009 Rockall Round to include the north-western margin of the Rockall Basin.
Sean Power, minister at Irtish department of communications, energy and natural resources, said it had been decided to expand the licence area to 117,100sq km.
This is the first time since 1997 that such a major part of the Rockall Basin has been the subject of a licensing round, according to the minister.
Recent technical studies have indicated that there is significant petroleum potential within the Rockall Basin.
The Dublin government reckons that it is therefore timely that oil companies be offered an opportunity to commit to invest in new exploration programmes in the basin.