Dáil Éireann - Volume 256 - 11 November, 1971
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Natural Gas Finds.
Mr. M. O'Leary Mr. M. O'Leary
11. Mr. M. O'Leary asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether the reports of natural gas finds off the south coast are receiving his attention; whether he has the technical staff in his Department qualified to assess the prospects of further natural gas finds; and whether State participation in the exploitation of natural gas is under consideration.
Mr. Lalor Mr. Lalor
 Mr. Lalor: The Marathon Petroleum Co. (Ireland) Ltd. has reported to me that an exploratory drilling in an area off the south coast, which is the sub-ject of a petroleum lease granted to the company, has revealed apparently significant results but that further testing and exploratory drillings will be necessary before it can be established that there is a commercial gas field in the area. The Geological Survey collects and examines all available geological and other relevant data for the purpose of assessing the prospects of finding natural gas deposits in our continental shelf but the final assessment of the prospects must depend on further exploration of the area by holders of leases or licences. It is not the present policy of the Government that the State should itself undertake the exploitation of minerals and this would apply also to natural gas or oil.
Dáil Éireann 256 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Natural Gas Finds.