Irish oil explorer Providence Resources confirmed Monday the forward program for Frontier Exploration License (FEL) 3/04, which contains the Dunquin exploration prospect.
Following a recent meeting, said Providence, the 2012 budget was approved by all partners. This includes the provision for well design activities and procurement of long-lead items as part of the ramp up to the drilling of an exploration well on the Dunquin prospect next year.
The current plan is to spud the exploration well in the second quarter of 2013.
The FEL 3/04 covers five blocks in the South Porcupine Basin, 124 miles (200 kilometers) off the south-west coast of Ireland, where the water depth is over 4,921 feet (1,500 meters).
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland has a 27.5% interest in and operates FEL 3/04, while Repsol Exploracion Irlanda, Providence Resources and Sosina Exploration hold 25%, 16% and 4% respectively.
"We are extremely pleased to confirm that the pre-drill activities for the Dunquin exploration well have commenced and that a spud date has now been scheduled," said Providence Chief Executive Tony O'Reilly. "This well forms an important part of Providence's Irish multi-basin, multi-well drilling program which kicked off in November 2011."
The news follows Providence Resources' report Thursday that its Barryroe appraisal well in the North Celtic Sea Basin, offshore southern Ireland, has encountered hydrocarbon shows in its secondary objective.
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