Business Irish

Sunday 23 July 2017

Providence to start drilling at Barryroe next month

EXPLORATION

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

PROVIDENCE Resources confirmed yesterday that its vaunted drilling programme around Ireland will begin next month.

The firm said it had been issued a new "Standard Exploration Licence 1/11" covering its Barryroe target and had finalised an appraisal well location. Drilling is expected to start in November. It had been pushed back from September due to issues with the drilling rig.

Company chief executive Tony O'Reilly said the well was "a very important confirmation well for the future development of the Barryroe oilfield, [as well as] heralding the renaissance of major drilling activities offshore Ireland".

Davy stockbrokers' Job Langbroek said the well was vital to Providence and Irish drilling.

"While Barryroe is not the largest or the most potentially valuable prospect in the portfolio, in our opinion, it has a pivotal importance," he said.

"A demonstration that the well can be flowed commercially will unlock perceptions of the value opportunity in the Celtic Sea.

"It will also serve as a reminder of the value that could be realised across the Providence portfolio," he said.

Meanwhile, Petroneft said it had discovered a new oil field in Siberia, pushing shares up as much as 4pc.

The Irish firm said it had struck oil at Cheremshanskaya in the west of the Russian region.

Company chief executive Dennis Francis was delighted at the discovery but warned it would be some time before it became of commercial value.

"Initial results are encouraging; however, the field will require further detailed testing and delineation to determine its ultimate size and productivity," he said.

Providence fell 1.08pc to €1.84. After the early gain, Petroneft slipped back to end the session down 8.7pc.

News analysis, page 7

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