Oil firm in detailed talks over Barryroe partner

Providence Resources chief executive Tony O’Reilly Jr has hinted that the company is getting close to naming a farm-out partner for its highly anticipated Barryroe oil field in the Celtic Sea.

Speaking at the second annual Ireland Oil and Gas Summit in Dublin yesterday, Mr O’Reilly said Providence is in negotiations with interested parties.

The discussions are understood to be at a very detailed level, with first-phase production costs one of the specifics being negotiated.

Mr O’Reilly did not speculate on the timing of a deal, but did say that the matter is “the utmost focus of the company” and would be one of the very few such deals to be done this year.

Providence is targeting first oil from Barryroe — subject to regulatory approvals — in 2017/18, with $700m (€515m) due to be spent on getting to first commercial flow. First-phase oil levels are expected to be up to 30,000 barrels of oil per day, with subsequent production increases rising to 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

While Providence recently poured cold water on reports of a $300m link-up with a large US operator regarding Barryroe, the company has admitted to talking to a number of players from Asia, Europe, and North America.

Speaking about the exploration industry as a whole, Mr O’Reilly yesterday noted an increase in expenditure in shale gas/oil in North America and a curtailment of spend in north-west Europe.

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