Speaking as part of the Dublin-headquartered oil and gas exploration company’s end-of-year trading update, Mr O’Reilly said: “Given recent industry advances in technology and pricing, as well as Ireland’s now established infrastructure and fiscal regime, it is our firm view that the time has now come for Ireland’s hydrocarbon potential to be realised.
“Our shareholders have waited patiently for this moment, and, as the leading Irish-based exploration and production company — with extensive acreage position, outstanding technical capabilities and world class international partners — we’re hopeful of being able to create significant sustainable value for them over the period ahead.”
Providence has just started its ambitious two-year six basin, 21-well drilling campaign — the biggest seen to date in Irish waters.
Initial appraisal work at the first asset to be drilled — Barryroe, Co Cork, located in the Celtic Sea — recently encountered what the company referred to as “notable gas shows”.
“The significance of the appraisal drilling at Barryroe shouldn’t be underestimated, and the successful demonstration of a commercial flow rate should not only unlock the substantial value of this particular asset, but should also trigger a complete industry re-appraisal of the Irish offshore,” Mr O’Reilly said.
Providence’s production rates are running at around 900 barrels of oil equivalent per day and the company is hopeful of upping that to 1,500 barrels over the next couple of years.
Following Celtic Sea drilling at both Barryroe and Hook Head Providence will begin drilling at its Kish Bank Basin asset, off the Dublin coast near Dalkey Island, before moving north to Rathlin Island.
Full results from appraisal works at Barryroe will be known in the coming weeks, with drilling concluding at the company’s Singleton field in Britain, around the same time.