'Landmark' year for Providence
Providence Resources said 2012 was a “landmark” year for the firm, and announced plans to drill five wells at various prospects around the Irish coast.
The exploration firm has shifted its focus to offshore Ireland, selling its UK onshore assets including the Singleton oil field, Baxter’s Copse development project and Burton Down exploration prospect to IGas Energy for €51.3 million in September. It said it planned to use the proceeds to clear its corporate debt, with the remaining funds to be invested in drilling activities offshore Ireland
Chief executive Tony O’Reilly said it was a “transformational” year for Providence, with the most notable event being the successful drilling and testing of the Barryroe oil field in the Celtic Sea Basin.The company said it expected to find between one and 1.6 billion barrels of oil at the site – up to four times initial estimates.
“For many years, Providence has been strident in its views on the material hydrocarbon prospectivity of offshore Ireland. Barryroe validates this with results that exceeded all expectations,” he said. “Barryroe represents a world-class oil resource and its importance should not be underestimated, not just in terms of the future plans for Providence, but also for the renaissance of the wider Irish offshore sector.”
It now plans to focus on the Dunquin prospect off the west coast of Ireland, followed by a well on Spanish Point in Porcupine. Other plans for drilling include the Kish Bank Basin and St George's Channel, with some of the activity stretching into 2014.
Davy analyst Job Langbroek said Barryroe prospect was a pivotal moment for the group.
“Barryroe and the Atlantic margin wells scheduled for 2013 demonstrate how far the group has come in a year. The next 12 months are unlikely to see any let-up in the rate of change and, notwithstanding the uncertainties of exploration."