The Petroleum Affairs Division of the Ministry for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in the Republic of Ireland has confirmed the extension, until December 31, 2005 of the Midleton (03/02), Rosscarbery (03/06), East Kinsale (03/10) and Seven Heads Oil (03/05) Licensing Options.
These extensions allow time for further work to be completed before concluding whether to undertake the drilling commitment necessary to secure a longer term Exploration License over each of the areas.
The Midleton acreage (Ramco 100%) lies in an average water depth of 90m, approximately 40km offshore Ireland and some 20km to the northeast and on trend with the Ballycotton Field, a subsea tie-back to Marathon's Kinsale facility. The producing reservoir in the Ballycotton Field is the Cretaceous Greensand, or A sand, which is the main reservoir in the Kinsale Field and the target of the Midleton block. Two drillable A sand prospects have been identified and the future work program will focus on completing the evaluation of these targets to make them ready to drill.
Immediately to the north of the Seven Heads gas field lies the Rosscarbery acreage (Ramco 77%). This block also has an average water depth of 90m and contains the Galley Head discovery (48/18-1) which has tested gas at 13 mmscf/d from the A sand. A number of other prospective A sand structures have been identified and the future work program will finalise the evaluation of the main prospect to make this ready to drill.
The East Kinsale acreage (Ramco 100%) lies to the east of the Kinsale Field along the major basin axis inversion anticline. Reservoir targets are the Cretaceous Greensand and Wealden sands lying between the Kinsale Field in the west and the Ardmore discovery in the east (49/14). Work to date has consisted of mapping the available 2D seismic data, which has identified a number of leads. Existing seismic data quality is variable and the next step is to carry out seismic reprocessing to improve the reservoir imaging.
Midleton, Rosscarbery and East Kinsale are anticipated to be gas prospects and all lie within subsea tie-back range of existing facilities.
The Seven Heads Oil acreage (Ramco 74%) lies directly beneath the Seven Heads gas field and covers an area in which three earlier wells achieved flow rates of between 1,300 and 1,600 bopd. The reservoir sands are contained in the Middle and Lower Wealden sands from 4,500 to 7,500ft below sea level. The oil is good quality (39° to 42° API) but contains high wax levels which may require chemical treatment to enable production.
Under the terms of a farm-out arrangement for Seven Heads Oil, Ramco is being carried through the preliminary technical components of the work program by Island Oil & Gas plc (IOG) in exchange for an option to carry Ramco through an appraisal well to test the oil reservoirs. Upon completion of the well and exercise of the option, Ramco would transfer to IOG a 44.4% interest in the acreage, thereby reducing Ramco's interest to 29.6%.
Ramco is also pleased to announce the extension of a contract with BP Exploration. The contract is held through Badentoy Tubular Services (BTS), a joint venture company owned by Ramco Oil Services Limited, Hunting Oilfield Services (UK) Limited and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited.
The new agreement extends, a previous 5 year contract to manage BP's tubular inventory until September 2007. The contract, which encompasses OCTG inventory management and the associated tubular storage, handling, preparation, cleaning, coating, inspection, repair and refurbishment of BP's North Sea pipe inventory.
The work will be carried out at Badentoy Park, Aberdeen, the operational base for BTS and the location of the Badentoy "One Stop Shop" which provides a complete integrated pipe management and tubular maintenance service.
Steve Remp, Ramco's Chairman said "Our strategy in the Celtic Sea is to focus on the A sand potential which has been so successful in Marathon's Kinsale and Ballycotton fields. The extensions to these Licensing Options will allow us to complete the work necessary to make some of our prospects ready to drill. We have assembled a strong acreage position offshore Ireland and these Celtic Sea blocks, together with our carried interest in the Frontier Exploration License in the Donegal basin, will form the main focus of our exploration activity over the next year or so."
"Our objective is to participate in a multiwell program offshore Ireland. We have successfully farmed out our Donegal acreage for a carry through an exploration well to be drilled next year and we already have in place a farm-out arrangement for our interest in Seven Heads Oil. The substantial interests we hold in these Licensing Options give us plenty of scope to seek further farm out arrangements."
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