The Dublin-based exploration company is set to begin drilling in Irish waters in the first half of next year and is in the market for a drillship to enable work to begin in the late spring/early summer of 2014.
The technical study, carried out by SLR Consulting, suggests an oil-in-place total of nearly 1.3bn barrels of oil at Shanagarry, and just over 1.34 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas.
Although Fastnet hasn’t drilled as yet in the area the latest findings are based on a number of things including: 2D seismic surveys of the licence; historical oil data dating back to when the licence was initially drilled in the mid-1980s; and correlations with 3D seismic surveying of the Barryroe field, which is located less than 30km away, and which holds around 1.6bn barrels of oil.
Fastnet is hopeful of signing up a farm-in partner by the end of May to help cover the costs of its upcoming 1,200 sq km 3D seismic survey (being carried out by French geophysical group, CGG), which will be the biggest ever undertaken in the Celtic Sea and will also cover Shanagarry. A development partner will cover the €14m costs and gain in return an equity stake in part of Fastnet’s licence portfolio in the area.
Fastnet’s maiden Irish drilling activity next year will focus on its Deep Kinsale licence — of which it owns 60%. It farmed into the licence — a potential oil-bearing reservoir located directly under the 1,500m-deep Kinsale Gas Field — in February.
In addition, Fastnet intends to begin drilling at its operations off the coast of Morocco towards the end of this year.
Fastnet’s managing director, Paul Griffiths, said the company’s 3D surveying — such work typically gives an accurate measure of oil reserve potential — could enhance Fastnet’s chances of starting a multi-well drilling programme next year in conjunction with others.
Mr Griffiths said Fastnet’s activity in the Celtic Sea places the company in “a unique position” to provide “running room” for international oil companies seeking to add offshore Ireland to their core area portfolios.