"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Providence Resources should know next month exactly how much oil resides at its Barryroe discovery, off the Cork coast.
Results of fresh technical updates from the asset — which lies 50km off the coast — were published yesterday, and confirmed "the high productivity nature of this reservoir interval, as observed during well-testing operations". They also noted positive implications for recoverable volumes and indicated more oil resources exist than anticipated.
Back in March, Providence announced initial oil flow rates of nearly 4,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) at Barryroe; which marks the first point on a multi-basin, two-year drilling campaign in Irish waters for the Dublin-based firm. The better-than-expected announcement proved well in excess of the initial 1,800 bopd estimates. One week later, a gas bearing zone, producing initial flows of 1,350 bopd, which could rise to full flow rates of 3,350 bopd, was discovered.
Earlier this month, independent tests carried out, at Barryroe, judged that the oil found is of better quality than first anticipated.
Providence’s technical director, John O’Sullivan said, yesterday, that it has been "pleasing to note" that post-well analysis from Barryroe continues to improve.
"The results of the sidewall core analysis are very positive, as they confirm the high productivity nature of the main oil-bearing basal reservoir interval. The permeability data from the overlying secondary reservoirs is welcome news as, previously, we had no information as to their potential productivity. These sands are now likely to add further resource potential to Barryroe," he said.
"With the completion of these post well studies, in conjunction with all the other post well works that have now been carried out, we look forward to providing a revised resource update for Barryroe later this summer," he added.
The next big date for Barryroe is expected to be the end of July, when results of the ‘oil in place’ studies are to be published. Providence also holds its annual general meeting next Tuesday. Later this year, an estimate of total recoverable reserves — depending on the number of actual wells drilled at the site — will be known. Recent estimates suggested the total cost of developing the Barryroe find could be €650m, much less than initial expectations.