Oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources has been granted a new licencing option in the Celtic Sea.

The option for Providence and its partners is for one year and covers an area of around 375 sq km close to Hook Head, off Co Waterford.

It was given approval by the Minister of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan.

Providence's partners include Challenger Minerals, Dyas BV, Atlantic Petroleum, Forest Gate Resources and Sosina Exploration.