Barryroe Confirms 'High Value Crudes' Offshore Ireland

Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources confirmed Wednesday that its Barryroe discovery in the North Celtic Sea Basin, offshore Ireland, is composed of high-value crude oil. Analysts who follow Providence expect more good news when the firm presses on with its drilling campaign next year.

An independent third-party crude assay of a 20-litre Barryroe oil sample, collected during recent Barryroe well-testing operations, found that the oil was a premium light (43-degree API), low sulfur, low TAN (acidity) and low-metal crude. The wax content has been analyzed to be around 17 percent by weight and the nitrogen content is also low.

Providence said that the data represents an improvement on the previously-published PVT fluid analysis.

"The results of this Barryroe oil assay vindicate our proposition that high value crudes exist in the shallow waters off the south coast of Ireland. Our well testing results, and subsequent horizontal modeling, has demonstrated that these crudes can be produced at commercially attractive rates. Our post well studies are continuing apace and we look forward to providing further updates over the coming months," said Providence CEO Tony O'Reilly in a statement.

The firm added that a comprehensive program of post-drill studies is continuing in order to better define the Barryroe oil-in-place resource, recoverable reserves and future field economics.

Commenting on the latest news, oil analysts at Dublin-based stockbroker said the Barryroe well "lived up to best expectations" and oil has most likely been established in commercial quantities. While noting that a final recoverable resource at Barryroe will not be available until later this year, Davy has modeled a 100-million barrel recoverable resource as a possible outcome.

"However, apart from the well specifics, the results also showed that Providence's strategy was working," said Davy in a research note on Providence that pointed out that next year's drilling campaign "shows there is much more to the group than the recent Barryroe events".

Providence is planning two wells for drilling off the west coast of Ireland in 2013: Spanish Point and Dunquin. A further two wells are scheduled for the east coast: Dalkey Island and St George's Channel. Meanwhile, one well is scheduled for Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland.

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


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