Irish exploration company Petrel Resources is unlikely to ever be able to commercialise its offshore Ireland assets.
That is due to funding issues and a growing opposition to oil and gas drilling, according to chairman John Teeling.
Petrel owns a 10% working interest in a licence in the Porcupine Basin, off the west coast.
While pre-owned licences have escaped the Government’s future drilling ban, Mr Teeling said Australian company Woodside Petroleum, which partners Petrel in Ireland, is unlikely to invest further.
“While existing licences may proceed, it is highly probable that any discovery will not be commercialised, it will likely take years to get an exploration permit, if ever, and maybe decades to get planning permission in the face of a small vociferous objecting minority,” Mr Teeling said.
“It is difficult to see how Woodside will commit the tens of millions to drill.
"This is a sad scene. State policy has effectively stymied offshore exploration," Mr Teeling said.
Petrel reported losses of €243,000 for the first six months of this year, up from a first-half loss of €115,000 last year.
The company said it is well funded and is once again mainly focused on its assets in Iraq.
It also hopes to reignite talks over outstanding land rights in Ghana before the end of the year.
Despite a long-running saga over disputed land in Africa, Petrel said Ghana remains an attractive region for it, “with good geology and acceptable financial terms”.