Providence responds to setback claims as shares drop 9%

Group says Barryroe appraisal always part of farm-out discussions

Providence is still looking “to co-venture with a suitable financially and technically capable third party” in order to develop its field at Barryroe, off the coast of Cork. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Providence is still looking “to co-venture with a suitable financially and technically capable third party” in order to develop its field at Barryroe, off the coast of Cork. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Providence Resources, the Irish oil and gas exploration and appraisal company, has responded to claims that the need for fresh drilling will set back development of its Barryroe oil field off the Cork coast. Shares in Providence fell by almost 9 per cent on the Dublin market this morning.

A report in yesterday’s Sunday Times suggested that Providence would have to spend up to $40 million (€29.5mn) drilling a new appraisal well at Barryroe, which might force Providence to seek new funds from shareholders. The paper also reported that likely partners among the oil majors are looking for further proof on the extent of the field, which is estimated to contain more than one billion barrels of oil.

Responding in a statement today, Providence said that there has been “no material change” to the status of the Barryroe farm-out since the company’s end of year statement in December 2013.

“As publicly stated, Providence’s strategy for the future appraisal and development of the Barryroe oil field is to co-venture with a suitable financially and technically capable third party. The parties with which Providence is currently in discussions include major Asian, European and North American oil companies. Given the current pre-development nature of the Barryroe project, an element of further appraisal drilling has always formed an essential part of these discussions,” the company said.

This morning Providence announced that it had been awarded a follow-on Frontier Exploration License 2/14, over Drombeg, off the coast of west Cork, having made a mandatory 25 per cent areal relinquishment.