British exploration company Europa Oil and Gas has started the search for a partner company to help develop one of its “riskier” assets in Irish waters.
The company is sitting on an estimated four billion barrels of oil equivalent and 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas across seven licences off the west coast.
A number of major and mid-cap explorers have already passed through Europa’s Irish ‘data room’, showing interest in its most developed licences in the Porcupine Basin.
The company has said that it is targeting initial farm-out agreements before the end of this year.
Yesterday, it added ‘licensing option 16/22’ — in the less developed Padraig Basin, 300km off the west coast — which it was awarded in the recent Atlantic Margin Licensing Round to the mix.
Previous seismic work on the prospect has suggested gross un-risked resources of between 300 and 600 million barrels of oil equivalent there.
Europa wants to hasten exploration by securing a development partner and reprocessing the historic seismic data and to develop the option to drillable status.
Europa views offshore west Ireland and the Flemish Pass basin off the Newfoundland coast as being the world’s next two exploration hot-spots and is hoping the Padraig Basin asset might be a link.
“While most of the industry is currently focused on exploring for this play in the south Porcupine basin, our restoration of the conjugate margin prior to Atlantic seafloor spreading, suggests the possibility that the Padraig Basin may be a better fit with the Flemish Pass basin,” said Europa chief Hugh Mackay.
“In particular, we are hopeful that successful reprocessing of historic 2-D seismic might allow us to mature existing leads to drillable prospect status at comparatively low cost and without the necessity to acquire new seismic data,” he said.
Oil prices fell around 3% yesterday. Brent crude slipped to $49.52.
The production and storage overhang in fuel markets has led the likes of Barclays to suggest this month’s 20% price rally is unwarranted and that oil prices of $50 or higher are unsustainable.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved