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Irish oil exploration activity set to increase

By: 
Geoff Percival - Irish Examiner

Exploration-related activity in Irish waters is set to heat up further in the coming months with a new multi-client 3D seismic survey to be undertaken off the west coast.

Subject to Government approval, the reconnaissance work could begin at June. It is aimed at getting a better understanding of potential reserves over 5,400 sq km in the highly rated southern Porcupine Basin.

The same month will see the first exploration drilling work start in Irish waters in four years when Providence Resources and partners turn the drillbit at the Druid and Drombeg prospects, targeting 5m barrels, in the same area.

Part of the asset base of British explorer Europa Oil and Gas will be covered by the new seismic survey. Europa currently has seven licences off the west coast — holding an estimated combined 4bn barrels of oil equivalent.

The company’s boss, Hugh Mackay, said success at any of the planned wells in the area would be “game-changing” for the basin.

He said Europa stands to have an industry-leading position in “what would be a new hydrocarbon province in western Europe”.

Elsewhere, John Teeling’s AIM-listed Botswana Diamonds has been awarded six new prospecting licences in the southern African country via Sunland Minerals — the Irish prospecting firm’s joint venture with Russian diamond giant Alrosa.

“This will allow us to work with Alrosa to deploy advanced exploration technology to areas which have not been looked at through this lens before,” said Mr Teeling.

Posted Date: 
30 April 2017