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Providence to start drilling at Spanish Point in 2012

Geoff Percival - Irish Examiner
PROVIDENCE Resources is planning to start drilling at its much anticipated Spanish Point prospect in 2012, following seismic studies suggesting the licence is likely to become a commercial development.

The Irish oil and gas exploration company — headed by Tony O’Reilly Jnr — owns a 56% stake in the site, which is located off the west coast of the country, and which could hold a peak production capacity of 72,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) which counts both oil and gas capacity.

The Spanish Point news follows on from Providence’s recent announcement that its Dalkey Island prospect, off the east coast, could potentially contain up to 870 million barrels of oil. Speaking yesterday, Mr O’Reilly said that the latest news spells positive news for the Irish exploration industry.

"We’ve already identified the primary appraisal well location and have commenced well planning with a view to drilling in 2012. The completion of this technical work finally awakens the sleeping giant that is Spanish Point. This is not only a significant event for Providence and its partners, but for the whole Irish offshore," he said.

Success at Spanish Point would mark only the fourth project of its kind in Irish waters to go forward to the full production stage inside the last 40 years and would make Ireland self-sufficient for gas and significantly contribute to the shoring up of our oil deficit.

Providence added that the Spanish Point project ranks similarly to the Corrib Gas Field, in terms of size, but has a much higher value due to its mix of oil and gas. The field was initially discovered by Philips Petroleum and Atlantic Resources in 1981, but wasn’t developed due to a lack of demand for extra gas at the time and no installed gas pipeline infrastructure.

Providence is currently partnered, on Spanish Point, by British exploration specialists Sosina and Chrysaor.