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Providence Sees More Gas Potential off Ireland's West Coast

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Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources has identified two gas prospects approximately 45 miles off the west coast of Ireland, and close to Shell's Corrib gas field, the firm reported Thursday.

Providence said that an initial technical evaluation of Licensing Option 11/12 (LO 11/12) has revealed the presence of two prospects in the Slyne Basin that it has called "Kylemore" and "Shannon" – both similar in age to the Corrib field. Providence is the operator of LO 11/12 and holds a 66.67-percent interest in the license.

The Kylemore prospect lies around 13 miles southwest of the Corrib gas field and Providence said it has been interpreted as a mid-basinal inverted four-way dip-closed anticline based on a combination of 2D and 3D seismic data. The most recent mapping of the Kylemore prospect indicated that it is structurally directly analogous to the Corrib gas field, with volumetric analysis based on available maps indicating potential gas in place of up to 228 billion standard cubic feet.

The Shannon structure, which is fully covered by 3D seismic data, is located some 7 miles southwest of the Corrib gas field. A previous pre-drill map, produced by Enterprise Oil which drilled the prospect in the 1990s, demonstrates significant structural closure covering around 9 square miles, the LO 11/12 partners believe that Shannon warrants a complete reevaluation in the context of any remaining resource potential.

"Initial work on our new acreage in the Slyne Basin has demonstrated exciting gas potential. We plan to apply modern seismic processing technologies to the available 3D seismic data in order to better quantify any remaining resource potential in the area. This is Providence's first license authorization in the area and we are delighted to be working on the project with First Oil, the largest UK privately owned North Sea oil & gas producer," said Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan in a press statement Thursday.

Oil analysts who follow Providence described this preliminary work on its new acreage – which was awarded to the firm in Ireland's 2011 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round – as "encouraging".

Caren Crowley of Dublin-based Davy Stockbrokers said the work should help the company build out a larger inventory of resources beyond the better-known prospects and discoveries.

"The already-acquired 3D seismic data should be very instructive and add value. For example, 3D seismic data [should] fully cover the Shannon prospect, allowing the licensing option partners to see more detail and hence optimally locate wells," added Crowley.

Analysts at London-based Liberum Capital said that Providence's new acreage in the Slyne Basin "demonstrated exciting gas potential which should add to drilling options in 2013".



A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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