Irish oil explorer Providence Resources announced Monday that it has confirmed the presence of high-quality light oil within a potentially extensive sandstone system at its Barryroe appraisal well in the North Celtic Sea, offshore Ireland.
Providence drilled appraisal well 48/24-10z to a final total depth of 7,550 feet and encountered a primary basal sandstone reservoir interval within the pre-drill depth prognosis. The firm said that reservoir development within this sand package is "better than expected" with "very good" correlation of the overall sand packages with the nearby 48/24-3 well.
Indications of hydrocarbons were seen while drilling, and the subsequent results from wire-line logging have confirmed the presence of 41 feet of net pay (averaging 15 percent porosity and 87 percent hydrocarbon saturation). Pressure data over this interval have revealed the presence of both oil and gas-bearing zones, with the oil gradient being consistent to that of light 40-degree API crude oil, said Providence.
The firm noted that preliminary pressure gradient analysis indicates that the basal sandstone could have potential for an oil-water contact to be significantly down-dip from the current well location, and that this basal sandstone package can be regionally correlated to previous wells drilled on the Barryroe license area.
Now that drilling operates are complete, and will all wire-line logging data and side wall cores in hand, the operations phase is moving to the well-flow testing program. This program is expected to take about 10 days to complete.
"The confirmation of high quality light oil within a porous and potentially laterally extensive sandstone system is extremely encouraging," said Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan. "The comprehensive newly acquired well data are already providing key insights into the hydrocarbon resource potential of this system. These sands, which appear to have an intact overlying pressure seal, sit directly on a proven mature and oil prone source rock and therefore open the route to significant resource volumes within the Barryoe license area. We look forward to materially progressing the Barryroe project on foot of a successful outcome to our imminent well testing program."
Oil sector analysts who follow Providence are expecting the firm to find around 50 million barrels of oil at Barryroe.
Job Langbroek, an analyst at Ireland's Davy Stockbrokers, commented in a research note that Providence's announcement was "uniformly good news" because "it confirms the presence of lower Wealden sandstone in the first instance and the fact that it contains oil in the second".
London-based Liberum Capital commented that the flow test results "remain critical" with a rate of 1,800 barrels of oil per day required for commerciality.
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