Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources has been given consent to progress to the second phase of the Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/14 in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland.
The FEL 2/14 drilling project lies in 2,250-meter water depth in the southern Porcupine Basin and is located some 220 kilometers off the southwest coast of Ireland.
The license is operated by Providence Resources (80%) on behalf of its partner Sosina Exploration (20%). FEL 2/14 contains the Paleocene Druid and the Lower Cretaceous Drombeg exploration prospects.
Providence said on Monday that Ireland’s Minister of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment, Denis Naughten, gave his consent for the progression to the second phase of the license development.
The second phase is subject to the completion of the agreed work program which includes the drilling of the 53/6-A exploration well on the Paleocene Druid prospect and the subsequent integration of the well data into a comprehensive assessment of the petroleum potential of the license.
In November 2016, the company signed a drilling contract for the provision of the Stena IceMAX drillship to drill an exploration well in FEL 2/14 during 2017.
The drilling contract provides for one firm well, plus an additional option for the drilling of a second follow-on well. The Stena IceMAX is a harsh environment dual derrick drillship designed to operate in water depths of up to three kilometers. The operational rate agreed for the rig is $185,000 per day.
Providence also said that other key service contracts are being finalized for the drilling operations for the planned 53/6-A exploration well. Based on the latest project timeline and, subject to standard regulatory approvals and consents, the 53/6-A exploration well is currently planned to spud in June 2017.
Tony O’Reilly, CEO of Providence, said: “We are pleased to have received this confirmation from the government on the license progression as we continue to move forward with all the necessary works to enable the drilling of this high impact exploration well during summer 2017.”