Explorer’s shares fall 10% as drill postponed

Shares in Providence Resources fell by almost 10%, yesterday, after the Irish exploration company confirmed that drilling at one of its highly-anticipated assets off the west coast has been postponed.

It had been anticipated that the Spanish Point prospect, off the Co Clare coast, would be the sole drilling activity to take place in Irish waters this year. However, last month, a spokesperson for Cairn Energy, the Scottish firm which holds operatorship status and a majority shareholding of the prospect, said that due to the lack of rig availability, an appraisal well would not be drilled in 2014.

While drilling had been expected, Cairn never actually formally committed to a drill this year.

Providence, which holds a 32% stake in the prospect, yesterday said the postponement, due to delays in the refurbishment of the Blackford Dolphin drilling rig which was to be used at Spanish Point, is “regrettable and beyond the control of the partnership”.

However, that didn’t placate investors, as Providence’s share price fell by 9.48% to €1.60.

The company’s CEO, Tony O’Reilly Jnr said, however, that the 3D seismic surveying activity planned for the Spanish Point South prospect is due to commence this summer, as scheduled.

That survey will be one of the largest ever such campaigns conducted in Irish waters, covering a minimum area of 4,300sq km.


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