Providence Resources P.l.c., (“Providence”) the Irish oil and gas exploration and production company, whose shares are quoted in London (AIM) and Dublin (ESM), provides the first technical update on its Rathlin Basin acreage, which is located both onshore and offshore Northern Ireland.
Providence holds a 100% interest over six offshore blocks (P1885), which were awarded under the UK’s 26th Seaward Licensing Round in 2011. In addition, an onshore licence (PL5/10), covering the island of Rathlin, was awarded to Providence in February 2011 by the Northern Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Since licensing the acreage, Providence’s subsurface team has been actively engaged in the evaluation of existing 2D seismic, shallow and deep well bore and outcrop geological data. Providence has identified conventional hydrocarbon prospectivity within the Lower Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group reservoir interval, which is proven to exist in the basin and which is a prolific hydrocarbon productive reservoir in the nearby East Irish Sea Basin, offshore Liverpool. Further vertically stacked potential has been identified within the deeper Carboniferous section where sandstones with porosities of up to 29% have been recorded in onshore outcrops. To date, just one deep hydrocarbon exploration well has been drilled in the basin, the onshore Ballinlea-1, which was drilled by Rathlin Energy Limited who reported that samples of good quality oil were brought to the surface for analysis.
Providence has acquired a recently completed Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) and magnetic airborne survey carried out over its blocks by Bell Geospace. The drilling of anomalies identified using this technology has been proven to be extremely successful elsewhere in the world in frontier hydrocarbon exploration. The initial evaluation of these data has identified five large anomalies within Providence’s acreage. Notably, one of these anomalies is structurally on-trend and just c.10 km from the Ballinlea-1 well. It is now planned to integrate the FTG dataset with existing 2D seismic data and the onshore stratigraphy to high-grade the prospectivity of these anomalies. Further reprocessing of the existing 2D seismic data is also planned in order to progress the area towards drilling. A screening review of potential drilling locations has commenced with options to drill from both offshore as well as onshore sites currently being assessed.
Providence plans to continue its statutory as well as local stakeholder liaison as an integral part of this review – in particular in relation to any planned drilling activity.
John O’Sullivan, Technical Director of Providence said:
“Whilst the Rathlin Basin is a frontier exploration arena, it is encouraging that the only deep hydrocarbon well drilled to date has recovered oil and proven the presence of an active and oil prone source rock. These newly acquired FTG data have highlighted areas of real prospectivity, a number of which had previously been determined from our evaluation of the existing 2D seismic data. The presence of a number of anomalies within our acreage is also very encouraging from a follow-on play potential perspective given the success this FTG technology has enjoyed in opening up new frontier basins elsewhere in the world. We have now started to integrate these results within our current basin model as we look to firm up an appropriate location for exploration drilling.”
Press Release, September 19, 2012