Drilling has commenced at an exploration well operated by Providence Resources off the south-west coast of Ireland in the southern Porcupine Basin.
Following consent from Minister of the Environment Denis Naughton on Monday, the firm said in a statement that the Stena IceMAX deep-water drillship has begun to evaluate the Druid and Drombeg wells. The IceMax, which can drill down 10,000m, has been contracted by Providence at a rate of $185,000 (€162,000) a day.
Providence holds the license along with its partners Cairn Energy and Sosina exploration. Providence has a 56 per cent interest in the project while the latter two have an interest of 30 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
The Irish-headquartered oil exploration company expects drilling at the sites to take between 45 and 60 days. The Druid well has prospective resources of 3.18 billion barrels of oil while the Drombeg well has prospective resources of 1.915 billion barrels of oil.