Apply for this licence

Start now on the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment website


You need a licence to explore or drill for, or extract oil or gas in Northern Ireland.

How to apply

Download an application form from the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) website.

You can apply as a single company or a group of companies but you must be registered in the UK - either as a company or as a branch of a foreign company.

You must include the registered name, address and number of each company with a stake in the licence.

You’ll need to give:

  • a map showing area applied for (on a scale of 1:50,000)
  • audited accounts and additional information to enable a Financial Viability Assessment
  • an original signed Financial Capacity Form(s) plus copy of supporting financial information about each company
  • a Technical Information Form in colour including a copy of the proposed work programme
  • an Environmental Awareness Statement
  • additional supporting information required by DETI
  • an application fee


Licences cover exploration, appraisal, development and production and have the following sequence of terms:

  • initial term, valid for 5 years during which an agreed work programme of exploration must be carried out
  • second term, valid for 5 years during which a field development programme must be approved
  • third term, valid for 20 years (the production period)

Your licence will only move to the next term if you have made enough progress against agreed licence activities, or it will expire.

Certain activities, eg drilling, may be subject to further DETI controls.