Providence loses partner on ‘Avalon’ prospect

Exit of French oil major Total leaves Providence searching for new partner

Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly said the company was “sad” to see Total effectively withdraw from the Irish exploration sector.  Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly said the company was “sad” to see Total effectively withdraw from the Irish exploration sector. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Oil and gas explorer Providence Resources has lost its partner on a licence off the southwest coast of Ireland.

French oil major Total withdrew from the licence in the southern Porcupine Basin which contains Providence’s undrilled “Avalon” prospect.

Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly said the company was “sad” to see Total effectively withdraw from the Irish exploration sector as it had been “an excellent partner”.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has approved the assignment of Total’s 50 per cent stake to Providence and its exploration partner Sosina.

Total had done some technical work on the project, and Mr O’Reilly said that Providence would continue with the evaluation of recently acquired data to “bring in a suitable industry partner to assist in a future drill decision for the Avalon prospect”.

Providence has been plagued by setbacks this year, and is also in the process of seeking a new partner to develop its Barryroe oil fields, the company’s prime prospect, after its Chinese backer Apec repeatedly missed deadlines to loan it $9 million.

Providence also previously said it was returning a licence for another area in the Porcupine Basin.