Petrel Resources plc (Petrel) has been awarded, by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Frontier Exploration Licences 3/14 and 4/14 in the Irish Atlantic’s Porcupine Basin.
The acreage licensed collectively covers approximately 1,050km2 or 75% of the 1,400km2 previously held under Licensing Options 11/4 and 11/6. In August 2013, Petrel farmed out 85% of its interest in, and operatorship of, the Licensing Options to Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd (Woodside).
The Frontier Exploration Licences are split into logical phases under best international practice, facilitating orderly permitting and progress. The Frontier Exploration Licences are valid for 15 years, with an initial 3 year phase, followed by three phases of 4 years each.
The main elements of the first phase are reprocessing of historic 3D seismic, environmental studies and, subject to regulatory rules and permits, may include the acquisition of new, state-of-the-art 3D seismic. Preparatory technical and environmental work is underway.
Petrel is 100% carried through phase one of the work programme, which covers the next three years.
The main element of the second phase, should the parties elect to enter it, would be the drilling of a well on each Frontier Exploration Licence, for which Petrel would be substantially carried.
As set out in the Company’s technical update announcements in respect of these Licences, Petrel launched the farm-out process with the objective of finding the best partner with the vision as well as technical and financial resources and strategic intent to pioneer new hydrocarbon plays in an under-explored, deep-water frontier basin. The Woodside transaction and Licence awards represent the successful conclusion of this process.
David Horgan, Managing Director of Petrel, commented:
“Petrel is delighted to announce the award of two Frontier Exploration Licences in priority areas of the prospective Porcupine Basin. Past explorers have generally applied ‘North Sea type’ approaches without sufficient regard to the different geology of the Atlantic Margin.”
“Petrel had already identified a number of geological plays on this acreage, justifying additional technical work. Our operating partners, Woodside, have brought additional ideas, based on their technical expertise and past successes elsewhere. The next phase of the work programme is already underway.”
Press Release, March 04, 2014