By Geoff Percival
Providence Resources has reaffirmed plans to reinvest in exploration opportunities outside Ireland.
Speaking at the two-day Atlantic Ireland exploration conference, in Dublin, the company’s chief executive Tony O’Reilly said while international expansion remains a medium-to-long-term plan, Providence is beginning to run out of Irish-based assets to farm out to development partners and is open to new opportunities.
Mr O’Reilly first suggested a return to drilling for oil and gas in international waters at Providence’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June. He said the exact timeline of a move for overseas assets and the location of potential prospects will depend on what opportunities present themselves. He also said the company may still look at further asset opportunities in Ireland.
Providence made offshore Ireland its sole focus in 2012, after selling its offshore assets in Nigeria and the Gulf of Mexico and its onshore assets in Britain.
The company will begin a multi-well drilling campaign, with its Chinese partners, at its flagship Barryroe field off the Cork coast next year.
It is also making progress on signing deals with development partners for its highly-rated Newgrange prospect, off the west coast, and could start drilling there and at three other prospects within the next three years.
Providence has already said investor interest in Newgrange is strong and that drilling could be undertaken relatively cheaply. Positive results from seismic evaluation work has put the asset back in the spotlight in recent weeks.