Providence eyes west coast drilling round next year

Providence eyes west coast drilling round next year

By Geoff Percival

Providence Resources remains open to carrying out a drilling campaign at its highly-rated Newgrange prospect, off the southwest coast, next year. 

The Dublin-based explorer has estimated it would cost less than $15m (€13m) to drill and said work could begin in either 2019 or 2020, depending on the ability to bring a development partner on board.

At the company’s AGM in June chief executive Tony O’Reilly Jr said farm-in interest, around Newgrange, was strong and that a deal this year would allow for a 2019 drill programme. 

Providence is also due to carry out a multi-well drilling campaign at its flagship Barryroe field in the Celtic Sea next year.

While management has suggested there was no rush to finalise a farm-out deal this year, newly-published results from seismic evaluation work, which has been taking place for the last three months, has put the spotlight back on Newgrange.

The seismic survey has suggested hydrocarbon sources. 

Providence said discussions with potential third parties are continuing and “depending on the outcome of these discussions, drilling could take place in either 2019 or 2020, subject to regulatory consent.”

“The quantum of current seabed pockmarks, together with the positive geochemical analyses, support the presence of potential active source rocks in the area that could be charging Newgrange with either liquids or gas,” said Providence’s technical director John O’Sullivan.

“While Newgrange is frontier in nature, the material prospective resources and low drilling cost continues to attract industry interest and we believe these new technical data should serve to further bolster that enthusiasm,” he said.

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