Irish explorer Providence Resources reported Monday that analysis of the primary target of the Dunquin North well offshore Ireland has found the reservoir there to be water bearing.
The Dunquin North well was drilled to a final total depth of 16,400 feet July 15. The well was terminated having drilled a total thickness of around 800 feet of a massive porous carbonate reservoir. Although the preliminary analysis of the reservoir found it to be water bearing, Providence also said that petrophysical log interpretation and elevated gas levels, together with oil shows in sidewall cores over the upper 144-foot section of the reservoir, "suggest the presence of a possible residual oil column".
In accordance with pre-drill plans, Providence said the well will now be plugged and abandoned and the Eirik Raude (DW semisub) rig demobilized out of Irish waters.
In a statement Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan said that the presence of a potential residual oil column may indicate that hydrocarbon entrapment has occurred at Dunquin North but that the oil has subsequently leaked.
Providence Chief Executive Tony O'Reilly added:
"We believe that our landmark Dunquin North exploration well, the first to be drilled in this basin, has demonstrated that all of the key components of a working petroleum system exist in the southern Porcupine Basin. These data are encouraging not just for the adjacent Dunquin South prospect, but also for the basin in general and are likely to intensify the already growing industry focus on this emerging hydrocarbon exploration arena."
Analysts at London-based investment bank Cenkos Securities commented:
"While not a producing well the results are tantalizingly close and with the presence of oil rather than gas in a highly porous carbonate system is very interesting for the Southern Porcupine Basin and from the results of this well there appears to be no reason not to drill further targets including Dunquin South."
The Dunquin North exploration well is located on Irish Frontier Exploration Licence 3/04 (FEL 3/04), and located some 100 miles off the southwest coast of Ireland. ExxonMobil operates FEL 3/04 and holds a 25.5-percent stake in it. Providence holds a 16-percent interest.
The Dunquin South prospect also lies on FEL 3/04.
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