Ramco Begins Drilling Offshore Ireland

Ramco Energy has begun drilling in the Seven Heads prospect off Ireland. In June, Ramco awarded a contract to Pride International for the semisubmersible Pride North Sea to drill in Seven Heads accumulation offshore Ireland. The rig will drill one well and has the option to drill a second one on Block 48/24. The first well should reach 4,000 ft subsea in 335 feet of water. Seven Heads is 29 miles offshore of the Cork coast and 42 miles from Marathon's gas pipeline.

Ireland converted the group's licensing option to a lease. Ramco said its interest in the Seven Heads project increased to 49% from 37.5%, because of expenditures it made during the licensing option phase. Ireland originally granted the licensing option in October 1999. It covered the southern halves of Blocks 48/23 and 48/24 and the northern halves of Blocks 48/28 and 48/29. Ramco said it permitted the group to carry out the evaluation of four wells previously drilled in the structure. The group acquired 103 km of new 2D seismic over the area. If sufficient gas is available and regulatory approval forthcoming, the group could bring Seven Heads on stream in 2003. Other partners in the Seven Heads project are Duke Engineering & Services Ltd., 26%; Island Petroleum Developments Ltd., 20%; Northern Petroleum PLC, 4%; and Sunningdale Oils (Ireland) Ltd., 1%.