Providence shares up as drilling prospects rise

Providence shares up as drilling prospects rise

By Geoff Percival

Providence Resources could drill off the west coast — as well as in the Celtic Sea — next year as it continues to ramp up exploration activity.

The Government has granted the Tony O’Reilly Jr-led company an extension to its ownership of the frontier exploration licence which holds the highly-rated Newgrange prospect off the south-west coast.

The first phase of the licence will now run to March 2019, allowing Providence to acquire new seismic data to help further de-risk the prospect and pave the way for the planning of an exploration well.

Providence shares up as drilling prospects rise

Newgrange is in relatively shallow waters and is viewed as a cheaper, quicker and less risky drilling target than many Atlantic Ocean-based prospects.

Providence is talking to other operators over the potential to share rig machinery. It is also talking to a number of third parties regarding the raising of further development funds via a partial equity sale in the project.

Last week the company announced a long-awaited partnership agreement which will see its flagship asset, the Barryroe field off the Cork coast, developed next year over the course of a six-well, six-month drilling programme.

The company’s shares jumped by over 15% on yesterday’s news, having been up by over 20% earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, another Irish explorer United Oil & Gas has announced an extension of an option to increase its stake in UK offshore assets, at which drilling is due this year.

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