Woodside gets environmental nod for seismic surveys in Porcupine Basin

Australian energy company Woodside has received environmental approvals from the Department of Communications, Climate Change, & Natural Resources in Ireland for the 3D seismic surveys on its acreage in the Irish Atlantic. 

Woodside is the operator of licences FEL 3/14 and FEL 4/14, in the Porcupine Basin of the Irish Atlantic Margin, with 85% interest, and Petrel Resources is its partner with 15% carried interest.

The approval was granted on May 4, 2016, and the surveys are scheduled for summer 2016, Petrel said on Wednesday.

Accordingly, Woodside as the operator awarded both Granuaile and Bréanann 3D marine seismic surveys to PGS on May 6.

Petrel aslo added that technical, safety and environmental induction and final preparations were completed on May 16. The Ramform Vanguard survey vessel and its support vessels sailed from Killybegs on May 17. The vessels are now mobilizing to the Granuaile survey area in the Southern Porcupine Basin, about 150km south-west off the Co. Cork coast.

According to Petrel, it is anticipated that the Bréanann 3D seismic survey covering, inter alia, Woodside-operated FEL 3/14 will start in about 40 days, in the ideal weather window.

David Horgan, Petrel Director, commented, “The prospectivity of Ireland’s Porcupine Basin is now generally accepted by the oil industry, with 43 applications by 17 companies in the recent 2015 Bid Round. Discoveries in Canada’s Fleming Pass have boosted exploration interest, as this province is seen as a twin of the southern Porcupine Basin – of which it was once part.”

“Ireland needs exploration wells drilled on the best possible seismic data. Previous exploration wells mainly targeted relatively shallow water prospects. Technical advances and higher oil and gas prices have opened up new plays.”

“The 3D seismic campaign underway this summer represents the state-of-the-art both in safety, environmental standards as well as technical competence.  The objective is to de-risk several leads and prospects to drillable status. The partners have succeeded in securing excellent contractors and equipment to conduct this work in the ideal weather window.”

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