Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources announced Thursday that it has been offered a new licensing option adjacent to its Barryroe discovery.
The firm said that the Irish government has offered it and its partner, Lansdowne Oil and Gas, a new licensing option over five part blocks that are adjacent to Barryroe – which has been estimated to contain more than a billion barrels of oil in place since hydrocarbons were discovered there in March.
Licensing Option 12/4 is located to the north and west of Barryroe and covers an area of around 190 square miles. The option has a two-year term, after which it may be converted into a standard exploration license that would involve the commitment to drill a well.
Providence, with an 80-percent interest, will operate the option on behalf of Lansdowne (20 percent), with the main elements of the proposed work program involving the assessment of the Barryroe Basal Wealden sand play across the option area.
Statements from both Providence and Lansdowne suggest that the area is likely to contain an extension to the Barryroe discovery.
Commenting on the license award in a company statement Thursday, Providence Chief Executive Tony O'Reilly said:
"We are extremely pleased to have been offered this option over a substantial acreage position directly north and west of the currently defined Barryroe oil field. This new option has increased our acreage position in the most prospective central part of the basin. Our work programme has been designed to assess the potential of any extensions of the Barryroe field into the option area, together with determining whether any further satellite accumulations may exist close to the fields that warrant investigation."
Steve Boldy, Lansdowne's CEO, added that the current seismic mapping of what he dubbed the "Barryroe North" acreage indicates a possible extension of the Barryroe oil field.
"The area is contiguous with Lansdowne's Amergin (SEL5/08) and Rosscarbery (SEL5/07) licences and further consolidates the company's position in the emerging Basal Wealden play fairway. We look forward to working with Providence on progressing the evaluation of this area."
Job Langbroek of Dublin-based Davy Stockbrokers commented:
"The option makes perfect sense in the context of what Providence is trying to achieve offshore Ireland – namely a role and position in all of the prospective hydrocarbon targets and basins. It also provides a bigger footprint for interested parties that Providence will talk to with respect to farming into Barryroe and the surrounding licences."
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