Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources has said it might start drilling at its Newgrange offshore prospect in Ireland in 2019 or 2020, boosted by independent Newgrange data analysis results.
Providence in July completed a site survey on the Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 6/14 off Ireland, containing the Newgrange prospect, some 260 kilometers off the south-west coast of Ireland.
The initial analysis of the data from the proposed Newgrange well site showed more than 100 seabed pockmark features, which was interpreted by the partners to be the result of fluid seepage from the underlying geology.
In its update on Monday, Providence said an independent third-party analysis of the Newgrange data confirmed the presence of 262 present-day seabed pockmarks.
Geochemical analysis of seabed samples acquired during this program confirmed the presence of both biogenic and thermogenic hydrocarbon sourcing signatures indicating the pockmarks are possibly related to hydrocarbon migration, Providence said.
Also, high resolution sub-bottom 2D data revealed buried pockmark fields up to 100 meters beneath the seabed possibly indicating active hydrocarbon migration over a prolonged period, the company added.
Providence said it was in talks with potential third-party farminees and, depending on the outcome of these discussions, drilling at the Newgrange prospect could take place in either 2019 or 2020 subject to regulatory consent. The latest internal well cost estimate is less than $15 million, exclusive of mobilization.
John O’Sullivan, technical director of Providence, said: “The quantum of current seabed pockmarks, together with the positive geochemical analyses, support the presence of potential active source rocks in the area that could be charging Newgrange with either liquids or gas.
“In addition, the presence and extent of the buried pockmark fields attest to the longevity of these potential sourcing systems, confirming that they are not just a present-day phenomenon.
“While Newgrange is frontier in nature, the material prospective resources and low drilling cost continues to attract industry interest, and we believe that these new technical data should serve to further bolster that enthusiasm.”