New Data Shows Large Paleocene System Offshore Ireland

Irish explorer Providence Resources reported Monday that new seismic data indicates the presence of a significant Paleocene deepwater channelized system in the northern Porcupine Basin, offshore western Ireland. The news follows a similar announcement by the company on June 10, when it reported that a new Paleocene deepwater fan prospect had been identified in the southern Porcupine Basin.

The latest update involves 3D seismic survey data in an area previously known as Spanish Point South, but since renamed Ruadhan, which is situated in Frontier Exploration Licence 1/14 some 90 miles off the west coast of Ireland. The operator, Capricorn Ireland Limited, recently completed an initial assessment of the Paleocene within FEL 1/14 using newly-acquired 3D seismic data. The interpretation demonstrates the presence of a significant north-south orientated deepwater channelized system that covers a minimum five-square mile and which had been evident on the previous 2D seismic profiles, according to Providence.

The new data provides "a significant improvement" in the detailed imaging of the system and indicates that the previous 1988 Amoco (now part of BP) operated 35/18-1 well was drilled into a channel margin location which is consistent with Amoco's post-drill interpretation. The 35/18-1 well encountered a gross interval of approximately 230 feet of Paleocene deepwater sands which exhibited good porosities (circa 20 percent) but low permeabilities at a depth of around 9.850 feet. Strong gas shows (up to three percent) were encountered whilst drilling and a conventional core was described by Amoco as bleeding 'light tan oil'.

As currently interpreted, the channel extends southwards and down-dip out of the Ruadhan 3D survey area into the southern part of FEL 1/14 which is covered by existing 2D seismic data. Further assessment of the exploration potential of the channel, together with additional Tertiary, Lower Cretaceous and pre-Cretaceous objectives, is continuing.

Providence Technical Director John O'Sullivan commented:

"Similar to our recent experience with the Paleocene Druid prospect in FEL 2/14, modern 3D seismic imaging is again playing the key role in understanding the true nature of these potentially material Tertiary stratigraphic traps. These newly-acquired 3D seismic data allow for a significant uplift in our understanding of the previous 35/18-1 well supporting Amoco's channel margin interpretation whilst also potentially pin-pointing the location of the channel axis reservoir sweet spot.

"Whilst these early observations are positive, further detailed seismic and well analyses are required in order to understand whether any potential resources associated with the main channel axis would merit the drilling of a new offset well."


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