Drill results to be known by summer

Providence Resources has said that initial results from drilling activity at the highly-anticipated Dunquin prospect, off the coast of Kerry, should be known before the end of the summer.

Drilling at the prospect — previously described as being a landmark well and a world-class structure — commenced last month, with oil giant, ExxonMobil the operator. Providence holds a 16% stake in the prospect.

The Dublin-based oil and gas exploration firm yesterday reported a widening in operating losses for 2012, from just under €4.1m to just over €5.43m. However, the company’s pre-tax losses for the year fell by nearly 9.5% to just over €8.23m.

Losses per share increased from 29.81c to 39.68c.

Despite the losses, the company is now debt free and Providence’s chief executive, Tony O’Reilly Jr hailed 2012 as being “a landmark year”, with the huge success of the Barryroe field, in the Celtic Sea, marking a strong start to the firm’s $500m (€380m) six-well exploration programme in Irish waters. It is the largest and most comprehensive drilling programme ever conducted off the coast of Ireland.

Mr O’Reilly said yesterday that Providence is “extremely well-placed” to capitalise on the positive momentum it has built up in the past year.

“Providence has always believed in the material hydrocarbon prospectivity of offshore Ireland. As the only Irish independent exploration and production company actually drilling offshore Ireland, we were very pleased with the success at Barryroe, which has firmly validated this view,” he said.

The company also yesterday formally noted that it is in discussions regarding a farm-out deal with a new equity partner for Barryroe.

“We’re now proceeding with the farm-out discussions to attract a suitably qualified partner to advance the project and take it to first oil. All in all, the success of Barryroe has helped to redefine the industry view on the Irish offshore,” Mr O’Reilly said.


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