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Drilling at Barryroe has led Providence Resources to proclaim the well as commercially viable. Providence Resources

Irish company successfully taps commercially viable oil well off Cork

Providence Resources says the rate of oil being tapped from the Barryroe well is almost twice what had been expected.

AN EXPLORATION COMPANY with its headquarters in Dublin has this morning revealed it has successfully tapped an oil well off the Irish coast – the first commercially viable well in Irish waters.

Providence Resources says the well at Barryroe, around 50 kilometres south of Cork, is flowing at a rate of over 3,500 barrels per day – well ahead of the target of 1,800 barrels per day that had originally been expected.

Providence also says the well has shown a rate of 2.93 million standard cubic feet per day, which when combined with the barrels-per-day figure means that the well can offer the equivalent of 4,000 ‘standard’ barrels per day.

At present price levels, this would be equivalent to a market price at around $500,000. A recent audit suggested that the reservoir could have a total capacity of almost one billion barrels – which are currently selling for around $125 each.

Analysis has confirmed that the oil is light sweet, and is ‘highly mobile’, which should allow for relatively straightforward extraction.

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The reservoir is now being prepared for testing to assess any potential for additional oil, after which it is intended to suspend the well in order to allow for the drilling of potential sidetrack.

Chief executive Tony O’Reilly said the well had confirmed that the oils were “of a very high quality”, and that the findings could be used to add to data pulled from a 3D model of the area’s ‘seismic signature’.

He additionally told RTÉ Morning Ireland that he hoped the success would help to put Ireland “on the map” in terms of natural resource mining, and encouraged other outside companies to forge partnerships with domestic firms.

Providence has been operating the well on behalf of a partner firm, Lansdowne Oil and Gas. Both companies are publicly traded. Barryroe only took over operations at Barryroe in late 2010, and has successfully tapped the well within 15 months.

The Barryroe well is one of six that Providence hopes to tap in Irish waters; other projects include a well at Dalkey Island, which environment minister Phil Hogan has been referred to Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council for public submissions.

Shares in Providence had risen by 12 per cent in London yesterday, and are likely to rise further this morning on news of the successful activities at Barryroe.

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