Serica Bags License in Underexplored Basin Offshore Ireland

Serica Energy was awarded Frontier Exploration License FEL1/09 covering Blocks 5/17, 5/18, 5/22, 5/23, 5/27 and 5/28 in the Rockall Basin off the west coast of Ireland. Serica is the License operator and holds a 100% working interest.

License FEL 1/09 lies in the northeastern part of the offshore Rockall Basin and the six blocks cover a total area of 993 square kilometers. The Rockall Basin has an areal extent of over 100,000 square kilometers in which only three exploration wells have been drilled to date and the basin is therefore regarded as very underexplored. Of these exploration wells the 12/2-1 Dooish gas-condensate discovery, drilled by Enterprise Oil in 2002, lies approximately nine kilometers to the south of the License and encountered a 214 meter hydrocarbon column.

A 3D seismic survey has already been acquired and Serica will reprocess this data in order to enhance its understanding of the principal prospect, a structure known as Muckish that covers an area of approximately 30 square kilometers in a water depth of 1,450 meters. Serica estimates that Muckish has a most likely prospective resource of 675 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent although, given the frontier nature of the area, it is also possible that the structure could contain oil. In order to learn more about its hydrocarbon potential, Serica will acquire several 2D long-offset seismic lines across the Muckish structure.

The License is classed as a Frontier Exploration License and may be held for up to sixteen years subject to work program and relinquishment requirements. On a commercial discovery a Petroleum Lease will be granted. In the initial License phase of four years Serica is committed to carry out geological and geophysical studies and to acquire 400 kilometers of long-offset 2D seismic data.

Serica CEO Paul Ellis said, "The award of this new License in the Rockall Basin represents a significant addition to Serica's exploration position in Ireland, following our recent Bandon oil discovery in the Slyne Basin. Several of Serica's present staff were involved in the Corrib and Dooish discoveries west of Ireland whilst at Enterprise Oil and have a detailed knowledge of exploration and operations in the Atlantic Margin of Ireland. The award is a further example of Serica's strategy to access acreage where 3D seismic data is already available, which enables exploration drilling to take place at an early stage."