By Eamon Quinn
Shares in Providence Resources have jumped back to the top of their recent range, as the oil explorer confirmed promising seismic survey data in the Porcupine Basin sea for its Dunquin South block. This could mean that exploration drilling can start there in 2020.
It follows the disappointment over a prospect in nearby Dunquin North after drilling there last year failed to find a substantial reserve. The company is heartened by the survey which suggests that Dunquin North showed evidence of a “significant potential fluid escape” caused by a geological feature that does not exist at Dunquin South.
“The presence of a major chimney over Dunquin North has been identified as the main reason for prospect failure. It is obviously highly encouraging that no such feature has been identified over Dunquin South, which we believe substantially de-risks this exciting exploration prospect,” said technical director John O’Sullivan.
Dunquin South is part of the licence operated by Eni Ireland, with a stake of 36.9%, and includes Repsol Exploracion Irlanda, with 33.5%, and Providence, which has a stake of 26.8%.
“While elements of the data were already available to industry, the news confirms the receipt and analysis of the full seismic data set by the operator and participants in the Dunquin licence offshore Ireland. The data highlight the quality of the Dunquin South target and readily explain why it is likely to be drilled in 2020,” broker Davy said.
“This points to a busy drilling schedule for Providence over the next few years, with drilling on the Celtic Sea Barryroe project, a possible well on the Newgrange target in 2019 followed by a well on Dunquin South in 2020,” said Davy.