Irish oil and gas company Providence Resources has issued a tender for a rig contract for the Druid exploration well, located in the Southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, with a spud date set for June 2017.
The Druid well is located in the Frontier Exploration License (FEL) 2/14 which lies in c. 2,250-meter water depth and is located c. 220 kilometers off the south-west coast of Ireland.
The license is operated by Providence (80%) on behalf of its partner Sosina Exploration (20%), collectively referred to as the Druid Partners.
FEL 2/14 contains the Paleocene “Druid” and the Lower Cretaceous “Drombeg” exploration prospects.
Following the appointment of Lloyds Register’s subsidiary Senergy Wells as a provider of integrated well management services for the planned 2017 Druid drilling program, Providence said on Thursday that an invitation to tender for the rig contract has now formally been issued to the market. The company said it expects that the rig contract will be signed during 4Q 2016 to facilitate summer 2017 drilling.
According to Providence, the detailed well engineering and design for the 2017 Druid exploration well is continuing with the well currently being designed to TD at a depth of c. 4,200 meters true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS), which allows for a full evaluation of the resource potential of the Paleocene Druid exploration prospect.
The well is also being designed to allow for a potential deepening of the well to encounter the underlying vertically stacked Lower Cretaceous Drombeg prospect at c. 5,200 m TVDSS, the company added. This deepening could occur should the Druid exploration well be drilled significantly within the current budget and/or if a third party farminee were to provide additional capital to the project, Providence explained.
Well cost slashed
Providence said that the latest gross (100%) well cost for the Druid exploration well is now estimated at c. $35 million, which compares to the previous estimate of $46 million. Based on the latest market intelligence, the additional cost for the deepening of the well to penetrate the Drombeg prospect amounts to c. $15 million.
In addition to the preparation and issuance of the invitation to tender for the rig, the company stated that other service contracts are now being prepared for the planned Druid drilling operations. Based on the latest project timeline and, subject to standard regulatory consents, the 53/6-A Druid exploration well is currently expected to spud in June 2017, Providence said.
Tony O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Providence said: “Thanks to the support of our shareholders, plus the substantially lower forecast cost profile, we are making solid progress with our planned drilling operations in FEL 2/14 for summer 2017.
“As previously stated, our base case program continues to be a test of the c. 3 BBO resource potential of the Druid exploration prospect. We are, however, also engineering the planned well to allow for the penetration of the underlying c. 1.9 BBO Drombeg exploration prospect should the opportunity arise.”