OIL and gas explorer Fastnet has signed an option to take a share in an oil prospect off the Cork coast.
In a stock exchange announcement yesterday, Fastnet said it had agreed terms to farm into the "Deep Kinsale Prospect" beneath the well known as Kinsale Gas Field off the south coast.
In London, shares in the company rose 1.5pc to close at 26 pence.
Fastnet had been in talks with Kinsale Energy and the super major Petronas for some more than a year to acquire this option. The company added that it was "very pleased" to have done the deal.
"We anticipate that we will acquire 3D seismic over the Deep Kinsale Prospect during the second quarter of 2013 in order to drill in 2014.
"This will be the first large, exploration-focused 3D seismic survey ever shot over the Kinsale Petroleum Lease Area," the company added.
The deal was a "significant development" for Fastnet, said Davy Stockbrokers' Job Langbroek.
"It allows the group to participate in a play which, while understood since early exploration work offshore Ireland, has recently opened up the possibility for substantial oil production from the Celtic Sea.
"The deal enables Irish drilling activity for Fastnet in 2014/2015 and could look very interesting in the context of a possible farm-out deal of the neighbouring Barryroe project," he said.