The company has been drilling the Old Head of the Kinsale gas field since early July and believes it has made a discovery of up to 120 billion cubic feet of gas.
The field is located just 25 kilometres from the existing Marathon production facilities at the Kinsale field. This would allow any gas recovered to be produced at a much lower cost.
The company said that based on the encouraging results, it has suspended drilling in order to study the data. It plans to drill the well again later this year to determine if the well can be used for production.
“Following the successful testing of the Seven Heads West well the company has now made the first new gas find in the Celtic Sea since 1990,” Island chief executive Paul Griffiths said.
“The company is naturally very pleased that its strategy of securing prospective licence interests with potential reserves close to existing infrastructure has been rewarded with two successful back-to-back gas wells.
“The success of this strategy demonstrates our ability to generate higher returns for the company given the relatively lower cost of commercialising Celtic Sea discoveries adjacent to existing facilities.
Any plan to develop the gas find will have to be approved by the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
The drilling rig used on the Kinsale field will now move to test the Inishbeg Prospect, in which Island has a 31% share. Tony O’Reilly’s Lundin also has an interest in this field.