Irish explorer Providence Resources reported Thursday that it has been made an offer by the Irish government to convert its Newgrange licensing option into a Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL).
Providence said it has been offered a follow-on license, FEL 6/14, by the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The offer includes the requirement for Providence to conduct a forward work program, which will see the acquisition of some 620 miles of 2D seismic data over the area.
Providence said that survey planning has already begun. Subsurface studies carried out during the license option period highlighted clastic and carbonate exploration prospectivity within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals respectively. Seismic interpretation of 2D reflection profile data have revealed the presence of two large stacked four-way structural closures at both Base Cenozoic (Top Cretaceous) and Base Cretaceous levels covering an area of approximately 385 square miles.
Meanwhile, a previously-drilled well (designated 62/7-1) located some 19 miles from the Newgrange prospect, encountered hydrocarbon shows in sands of Lower Jurassic age.
Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan commented in a company statement:
"Previous drilling has highlighted the prospectivity within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals of the Porcupine Basin, with much current industry focus on these Mesozoic play systems. The recent Dunquin North exploration well has proven that oil has been generated in the adjacent southern Porcupine Basin which flanks the Goban Spur and that Cretaceous carbonates can provide high porosity massive reservoir systems.
"The new 2D seismic program is being designed to de-risk the Newgrange prospect at both prospective levels and should provide the critical data in order to advance this material prospect towards drilling."
Providence is the operator of the Newgrange licensing option, with an 80-percent stake. Sosina Exploration holds a 20-percent interest.
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