Ireland On Course to Develop Hydrocarbons, Employment

Tony O’Reilly
Tony O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Providence Resources plc
Chief Executive, Providence Resources plc

O’Reilly expects “major drilling campaigns” to be undertaken as part of the Licensing Round within a few years and revealed that Providence Resources is already looking at “multiple drilling (exploration and appraisal) opportunities” offshore Ireland.

Providence Resources was the first licensee in the Porcupine Basin in 2004. The energy firm holds interests in licenses all over Ireland, including the Celtic Sea Basin, the Kish Bank Basin, the Goban Spur Basin, the St. George’s Basin, the northern Porcupine Basin and the southern Porcupine Basin. The company currently has “multiple assets” ready for drilling, O’Reilly said. Off the west coast of Ireland, Providence expects to drill its 58-percent owned Spanish Point appraisal project, operated by Cairn, and the Dunquin South, Drombeg/Druid and Newgrange prospects, which have estimated P50 resources REC in excess of one billion barrels of oil equivalent each, across 2017 and 2018.

Looking ahead to the next decade, O’Reilly predicts that Ireland’s offshore oil and gas sector will achieve significant growth.

“We see a very much expanding oil and gas sector, with a great deal of activity planned in the years ahead,” said O’Reilly.

“Already, in the past 6 months, we have seen some major changes. The commencement of production from the Shell-operated Corrib gas field in December 2015 represented the first new exploration and production asset to be developed in over 30 years. This was followed by the huge success of the Licensing Round, which is another major new step change for Ireland and this should result in far more wells being drilled in the years ahead. Ultimately, the speed by which Ireland’s offshore oil and gas industry expands will depend, not only on oil prices, but also the success of future drilling campaigns. But with success with the drill bit, Ireland’s proximity to the North Sea and its interconnectivity to mainland Europe ensures that it has both the technical and service capabilities and markets to sell future production,” he added.

Putting to bed fears regarding the effects of a low oil price on Ireland’s flourishing oil and gas industry, O’Reilly stated that even “in this current price and cost environment, Ireland is internationally competitive.”

The Providence Chief Executive highlighted that “current applicable tax rates in Ireland [range] from a base of 25 percent to 55 percent” and stated that the sustainability of the Irish oil and gas sector is “equal to or better than the North Sea arena,” under current conditions.


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