Irish energy company Petroceltic International has been awarded two Italian offshore exploration permits. The exploration concessions involve two sites in Italy\'s central Adriatic waters and are valid until 2018. Three years ago Petroceltic International was awarded nine Italian exploration permits off the coast of Italy in the Adriatic Sea. Beyond the recent awards Petroceltic International is bidding on three other permits in the area, near existing oil and gas fields, the Irish Times reported Thursday. Petroceltic International Chief Executive Officer Brian O\'Cathain said his company is pleased with the acquisition of the permits and it is \"indicative of a desire to re-activate the offshore Italian exploration and production industry by the government of Italy.\" Beyond Italy, Dublin-based Petroceltic International also has concessions in Algeria and Tunisia and has developed a strategy seeking to develop operations in the Mediterranean Basin and North Africa. Petroceltic International has been in the Italian market since 2005 and has since substantially increased their holdings in Italy both onshore in the Po Valley region and offshore in the Adriatic.