Texan exploration company Kosmos Energy has commenced 3D seismic surveys on the two prospects off the Co Kerry coast in which it bought controlling stakes earlier this year.
The move follows the formal granting of approval by the Government, upgrading the previously rated licensing options into frontier exploration licences.
In April, Kosmos took a 75% stake of a licensing block owned by Canadian explorer, Antrim Energy, in return for funding of a detailed seismic study on the prospect; while additionally acquiring an 85% holding in the two Porcupine Basin licensing options previously fully controlled by London-based company Europa Oil & Gas.
The latter deal sees Kosmos — which is a partner with Tullow Oil in Ghana and with Fastnet Oil & Gas in Morocco — cover first exploration costs, the 3D seismic, and reimburse Europa for a portion of its previous exploration costs.
Europa will retain a 15% stake in its two licences and its chief executive, Hugh Mackay, said yesterday that the upgrading to full licences marks “a hugely significant” first step on the path to realising the full potential of the Porcupine Basin.
“The recent entry of Cairn Energy and Woodside Petroleum into the South Porcupine Basin, together with the ongoing drilling by ExxonMobil at the nearby Dunquin prospect, not only highlight the prospectivity of the basin, but also the scale of the interest shown by leading names in the oil and gas industry,” he said.
The two Kosmos/ Europa licences each have a 15-year timeframe and include seismic and drill commitments.
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