A four-month extension has been granted to a company searching for oil and gas in Manx territorial waters.
The Department of Infrastructure originally issued Crogga Limited with a Seaward Production Innovative Licence in October 2018.
Such licenses are divided into three exploration phases:
• Phase A - geotechnical studies and geophysical reprocessing
• Phase B - seismic survey and acquiring other geophysical data
• Phase C – exploratory drilling
The licence term commenced on 1 January 2019 at Phase B and allowed Crogga three years to complete the relevant work. The conditions of the licence require satisfactory completion of Phase B before moving to Phase C.
With the current licence due to expire on 31 December 2021, Crogga originally requested an 18-month extension to undertake the necessary work to complete Phase B.
The Department has, however, agreed to an initial four-month extension.
While this will provide the company with extra time to work towards meeting certain conditions, it will also enable the Department to take into consideration the Isle of Man Government’s wider policy on offshore energy production as part of the decision on the longer licence extension request.
In addition, the Department will work with Crogga to determine how the company intends to mitigate emissions from the proposal to ensure that the Island is able to meet its commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall MHK said:
‘The Department has agreed to extend the licence for four months to enable work to take place by both ourselves and Crogga.
‘I’m pleased the company has agreed to this arrangement and look forward to working with them over the coming months.’
Crogga Limited chief executive officer Diccen Sargent said: ‘We look forward to providing the government and the public with the factual information and details of our business plan, so they can be reassured about the environmental, financial and energy benefits, which we believe will transform the future of our Island.’