Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources confirmed Wednesday that estimates of the size of its Barryroe find in the Celtic Sea, offshore Ireland, have been upgraded. Providence reported that its oil in place estimates for Barryroe were now 1,043 million barrels of oil on a P50 basis and up to 1,612 million barrels on a P10 basis.
On July 6, oil analysts at Liberum Capital speculated that Barryroe could contain around one billion barrels of oil in place and more than 160 million barrels of recoverable oil, based on technical disclosure made by Providence at that point. After Providence's announcement on Wednesday, the London-based investment bank upgraded its estimate of recoverable reserves to 200 million barrels.
Providence said that after the successful drilling and testing of the Barryroe 48/24-10z well in March, it has now completed a series of comprehensive post-well studies in order to update the in-place volumetric resource estimate for the Barryroe discovery.
The analysis demonstrated that the Barryroe trap at Base Wealden level is situated in the hanging-wall side of an inverted major intra-basinal growth-fault system and covers an area of several hundred square miles. The crest of the structure is located at around 6,400 feet, with the deepest logged hydrocarbons at 7,300 feet with no evidence of oil-water contact.
In the Middle Wealden interval there is estimated to be 287 million barrels of oil on a P50 basis and 706 million barrels on a P10 basis. The Basal Wealden is estimated to contain between 756 million barrels and 906 million barrels.
Providence's management team believes there is further upside potential in the Lower Wealden and Purbeckian zones.
"Interestingly, our most recent well was situated circa 900 feet down-dip from the structural crest and still encountered oil to the base of the primary Basal Wealden Sand. In fact, the lack of any logged water bearing reservoir intervals in the lower 1,500 feet of our recent 48/24-10z attests to the resource potential within the Barryroe structure and strongly suggests that there may also be material hydrocarbon potential at deeper reservoir intervals within the structure," said Providence Chief Executive Tony O'Reilly in a statement.
Liberum's analysts noted that work is being conducted by Providence that will lead to field development studies, in order to determine recoverable reserves and associated economics. "We anticipate the results will be disclosed in Q4 2012. Once this work has been completed, the Barryroe partners will start the permitting program for field development. We also expect Providence will bring in suitable qualified partners with appropriate development expertise and financial resources in return for an equity interest," they wrote in a research report on Wednesday.
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