Further evidence that the Rathlin Basin, offshore Ireland, contains hydrocarbons has been obtained by Providence Resources the firm announced Thursday. The junior exploration firm said it recently completed an assessment of satellite oil seep data over the P1885 license, which is situated off the Antrim coast and contains the Polaris prospect.
The data obtained by Providence revealed the presence of two large seeps some two miles northwest of the Polaris prospect. The firm said that the seeps appear to be related to faulting and may provide direct evidence of active oil migration from potential Lower Carboniferous source rocks. As a consequence, Providence said that – as part of its license commitments and to minimize ongoing costs – it has relinquished around 70-percent of P1885 and retained what it considers to be the most prospective area (which includes the Polaris prospect).
Providence also reported that appraisal well planning is ongoing on the Rathlin Energy-operated Ballinlea oil discovery, which is located in the adjacent offshore exploration license to P1885. The original well, which is interpreted by the operator to have been located close to an oil-water contact, recovered oil from Lower Carboniferous-aged sands. The Polaris structure is interpreted to be on-trend with the Ballinlea discovery and therefore the results from this appraisal well will be important in relation to future drilling activities in P1885, Providence added.
Providence Technical Director Dr John O'Sullivan commented in a company statement:
"We believe that the presence of naturally occurring surface seeps confirms that oil generation and migration from depth is occurring within our Rathlin Basin exploration license area. It is particularly notable that these seeps appear to be associated with structures within our primary Polaris prospect area.
"The future drilling activity planned for the onshore Ballinlea oil discovery should only further enhance the exploration potential of this basin in general and our offshore license in particular."
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