Fastnet looks for farm-out partner

Fastnet Oil & Gas has initiated a farm-out process to help cover the cost of its forthcoming $18m (€14m) surveying activity in the Celtic Sea, which will be the biggest of its kind ever undertaken in the area.

Last month, the exploration firm selected French geophysical specialist, CGG to carry out the 3D seismic survey to cover 2,200sq km of the Celtic Sea.

Fastnet say the 3D survey will last for about 50 days. It is due to begin in April.

The firm had been expected to partially pay CGG from the €18.6m capital it raised late last year, but it has commenced a search for a partner who will stump up most of the cash in return for a stake in one of the licence areas being surveyed.

The survey will cover Fastnet’s ‘Mizzen’ prospect and adjoining areas — where several large structures have been identified — but will begin at the Deep Kinsale Prospect, in which Fastnet purchased a 60% stake last month.

The prospect is a potential oil-bearing reservoir situated underneath the Kinsale Gas Field. The potential to expand the 3D study exists, but depends on interest from potential partners.

Paul Griffiths, Fastnet’s managing director, said that even at this early stage, the company is “very encouraged” by the level of interest being shown, “by a broad spectrum of companies”.

“This is the first large-scale 3D seismic programme to be acquired in this part of offshore Ireland. Whilst we are targeting proven hydrocarbon systems around the Kinsale and Barryroe fields, we are also evaluating a prospective part of the Celtic Sea Basin, covering approximately 4,250 sq km, that has seen only one well drilled, in 1975 by Esso, which encountered oil shows. 3D seismic is the first step to creating material, ‘drill ready’ prospects.”


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