Oil from the 1bn-barrel Barryroe field is likely to be piped to Whitegate refinery in Cork.
The field is owned by Providence Resources, and its technical director John O’Sullivan has indicated that a pipeline with a fixed platform is the most likely option to be employed to recover the oil.
This would result in the oil being pumped about 70km to the Phillips 66 Whitegate Oil Refinery. This is the only oil refinery in Ireland and supplies one third of the country’s transportation fuels.
The refinery began operations in 1959 and it processes 71,000 barrels of crude oil a day — 3m tonnes a year.
In an interview with Upstream, a weekly oil and gas newspaper, Mr O’Sullivan suggested the Barryroe oilfield, 50km off the Cork coast, was likely to be developed using “a jacket and pipeline”.
He also said that the explorer, which holds an 80% stake in the Celtic Sea play, was expecting the results of a review by British-based project engineering specialists of 18 to 20 development options in the next few weeks.
He said that no decision had yet been taken and that Irish regulatory authorities would have a say, but said the geographical and technical situation would dictate that a fixed platform was the most likely scenario.
“We’re screening all the options, everything from the wild and wonderful to the bog standard. But I think we’ll be going with something that’s relatively conventional, not new-to-world.”
Providence Resources has estimated 1.043bn barrels at the field, according to new oil-in-place estimates last month, and has said it believes it can generate a per-well initial production rate of about 12,500 barrels of oil per day and 11m cubic feet per day of gas.
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