Fastnet Oil & Gas announced Thursday that it has secured an option to farm into the Deep Kinsale prospect offshore Ireland in the North Celtic Sea Basin. The deal has been struck with Kinsale Energy - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas.
Fastnet, which is focused on offshore opportunities both in Ireland and Morocco, said the move is means its strategy to build a "material portfolio" of Purbecko-Wealden prospective structures is now complete. As well as Deep Kinsale, the company holds interests in the nearby Mizzen, Shanagarry and block 49/13 prospects.
The farm-in deal will see Fastnet acquire a minimum of 190 square miles of 3D seismic data over the Deep Kinsale area by the end of this year. The firm will then have an exclusive option to farm into the prospect before Sep. 30, 2014 by drilling a well to test the Purbecko-Wealden reservoirs there. Upon completion and testing, Fastnet will earn a 60-percent working interest in the Deep Kinsale Sub-Area by funding 100 percent of all drilling and testing costs.
The Deep Kinsale prospect is located beneath the producing Kinsale Head gas field, which came on stream in 1978.
"We are delighted to have added an exclusive option to farm into and potentially drill the Deep Kinsale Prospect in 2014. It represents an attractive addition to our Irish portfolio as we have long held a belief that Deep Kinsale offers the potential to yield up another significant hydrocarbon discovery offshore Ireland," Fastnet Chairman Cathal Friel commented in a company statement.
Friel noted that the company's belief in Deep Kinsale's potential was reinforced last year by Providence Resources' successful appraisal of the nearby Barryroe discovery – which has been estimated to hold more than a billion barrels of oil on a P50 basis. Barryroe is geologically analogous to Deep Kinsale.
Will Arnstein, an oil sector analyst at London-based investment bank FinnCap, commented in a brief research note Thursday:
"Our view is this is an exciting opportunity that, while early stage, has considerable hydrocarbon potential and enhances the attraction of Fastnet's Celtic Sea acreage."
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