The block is adjacent to the existing Dragon gas field, which straddles the international median line where Marathon Oil Corporation is expected to drill an appraisal well during the second half of 2005.
This new Licensing Option further expands Providence's portfolio of oil and gas discoveries and prospects located off the east, south and west coasts of Ireland.
Licensing Option 05/3 is located close to shore in the St. George's Channel Basin off the southeast coast of Ireland, between Wexford and Wales. The licensed area is at 100 meters water depth and covers approximately 850 sq kms. It is adjacent to Providence's existing Licensing Option 03/7 which contains the Dionysus and Pegasus prospects.
Providence has identified hydrocarbon trend potential in reservoirs of both Jurassic age (as at Dragon) and Triassic age within the Licensing Option 05/3 area. Oil shows have been noted in wells close to the Licensing Option area, however the main hydrocarbon type is expected to be gas.
Providence's subsurface work program will focus on the interpretation of existing data and the identification of prospects within a regional hydrocarbon framework that will also include Providence's existing Licensing Option 03/7 together with Marathon's Dragon gas field. Providence is currently planning additional seismic surveying in the area as a prelude to a future drilling program.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Brian Hillery, Chairman of Providence, said: "This new Licensing Option is of particular interest to Providence given that Marathon will be drilling nearby this year on its Dragon gas field. The Licensing Option represents an opportunity for Providence to strengthen its existing Irish portfolio in an area from which we believe there may be significant future gas production."
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