Seismic Program About to Start Offshore SW Ireland

Irish explorer Providence Resources provided updates Thursday on a new seismic survey to take place off the southwest coast of Ireland and an extension to its Celtic Sea licenses that contain the Barryroe discovery.

Providence said that it has agreed a contract with Polarcus MC Limited and Seabird Exploration that will see the acquisition of 1,525 miles of 2D seismic data in the Newgrange area, offshore southwest Ireland.

Lying some 160 miles off the Irish coast, Newgrange forms lies in approximately 3,280 feet of water in the Goban Spur Basin. It is contained within Irish Frontier Exploration Licence 6/14, which is 80 percent-owned by Providence with Sosina Exploration holding 20 percent.

Providence said approximately 610 miles of the seismic will be focused on the Newgrange prospect, together with associated seismic well tie lines. The survey is currently planned to begin this month using the M/V Harrier Explorer seismic vessel. It will tie into Polarcus's South Porcupine MC3D survey that is ongoing in the Drombeg area and where approximately 1,830 miles of data has already been acquired. It will also tie into the Dunquin North exploration well, which has proved an oil exploration play concept in Cretaceous-aged carbonates in the area.

Providence said that previous subsurface studies have highlighted both clastic and carbonate exploration prospectivity at Newgrange within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals, respectively. Seismic interpretation of existing 2D reflection profile data have revealed the presence of two large, stacked, four-way structural closures at Base Cenozoic (Top Cretaceous) and Base Cretaceous (Top Jurassic) levels covering up to an approximate 445-square mile area. The previously drilled 62/7-1, which is located approximately 18 miles from the Newgrange prospect and was drilled off-structure, encountered hydrocarbon shows in sands of Lower Jurassic age.

Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan commented in a company statement:

"This is the second seismic program that Providence has underwritten offshore Ireland in 2014 and builds on the 3D surveying that is currently ongoing over our Drombeg prospect.  These new surveys, in tandem with our participation in the Dunquin North exploration well, demonstrate our commitment to the future exploration of the frontier southern Porcupine Basin where an oil-charged Cretaceous-aged carbonate petroleum system was recently confirmed by drilling.


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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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