Irish explorer Providence Resources has issued a technical report on its Drombeg prospect, offshore Ireland, indicating its potential as a hydrocarbon target.
Drombeg, which was awarded to Providence and its partner Sosina Exploration as Licensing Option 11/9 in the 2011 Irish Atlantic Margin Licensing Round, is located approximately 140 miles off West Cork in 8,200 feet of water depth.
On Tuesday, Providence (which is the operator) said the prospect, which is targeting a Lower Cretaceous zone, demonstrates a significant seismic amplitude anomaly and low seismic impedance as well as a market AVO (amplitude versus offset) response.
Meanwhile, the company recently engaged Ikon Science to carry out rock physics modeling and 2D seismic inversion study of the Drombeg prospect, using a number of key 2D seismic lines together with regional well data. The study concluded that the mapped seismic anomaly is consistent with a modeled hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone interval that has a seismically-derived thickness of between 200 and 300 feet.
Additionally, Providence's mapping shows that the anomaly is extensive, covering around 93 square miles, and it has been interpreted to be the deepwater equivalent of Lower Cretaceous Apto-Albian aged shallow water marine sandstones that were encountered by the BP-operated 43/12-1 well in 1988. That well, situated around 50 miles from Drombeg, found net 70 feet of Apto-Albian sandstone with an average porosity of 19 percent.
Providence added that it has also identified an underlying second seismic anomaly that has been modeled to be consistent with hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone.
While noting that the company has had a lot of attention recently because of its Barryroe discovery, which has been estimated to hold more than a billion barrels of oil in place, Providence technical director John O'Sullivan said that it was pleasing to be able to provide an update on another significant project in which the firm holds a significant equity position (80 percent).
"The work carried out by Ikon Science clearly demonstrates that Drombeg offers significant potential, exhibiting many of the key ingredients of a major hydrocarbon accumulation. The evidence of potentially active hydrocarbon migration in this frontier basin has wider implications for our other projects in the southern Porcupine Basin, most notably Dunquin, which is to be drilled in 2013," he said in a statement Tuesday.
Oil analysts who follow Providence were impressed by cautious about the technical update. Job Langbroek, of Dublin-based Davy Stockbrokers, noted that the "scale potential of Drombeg is very large" but was reluctant to attribute a valuation to the prospect at such an early stage in the exploration cycle
Analysts at London-based Liberum Capital stated in a research note: "The findings are an encouraging step towards de-risking not just Drombeg but the whole basin, including Dunquin. However the prospect is still at an early stage and we would not expect any defined drilling plans until the Dunquin results."
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