Providence Says Drombeg Could Contain 870M Barrels

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Irish explorer Providence Resources reported Monday that it has completed a major seismic inversion program on 2D lines over the Lower Cretaceous Drombeg prospect, located 135 miles off the coast of West Cork. The firm said that the amount of oil that could potentially be recovered from the prospect's primary seismic anomaly is 872 million barrels on a probable reserves (P50) basis.

The Drombeg prospect is located in the southern Porcupine Basin under 8,200 feet of water and 9,850 feet below the seabed.

Drombeg is just the latest in a number of promising prospects that Providence has uncovered. Earlier this year it estimated that its Barryroe target off the south coast of Ireland in the Celtic Sea contained up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil after it successfully drilled and tested the prospect.

Commenting on the news Monday, Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan said in a statement:

"Recent successful discoveries, both in West Africa and South America, have highlighted the enormous potential of the Lower Cretaceous deepwater clastic exploration plays of the Central Atlantic. We believe that the results of the Drombeg seismic inversion signal that this significant play may well extend into the North Atlantic Conjugate Margin and, more particularly, into the southern Porcupine Basin."

Analysts at London-based investment bank Liberum Capital commented in a research note:

"The deep water prospect will be expensive to drill and we expect Providence to farm out an interest in the license ahead of probable 3D seismic acquisition and drilling."

Providence is the operator of Licensing Option 11/9, where Drombeg resides, and has an 80-percent interest in the license. Sosina Exploration holds the other 20 percent.

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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