Business Irish

Saturday 23 September 2017

Woodside teams up with Petrel to drill coastal field

Teeling hopes to make find of up to one billion barrels of oil

Dr John Teeling has signed a deal with the Australian oil and gas giant Woodside.
Dr John Teeling has signed a deal with the Australian oil and gas giant Woodside.
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Dr JOHN TEELING'S Petrel Resources has signed a deal with an Australian oil and gas giant that should allow it to begin exploratory drilling on one of its sites off Ireland's south-west coast.

Woodside, Australia's largest independent oil and gas company, has agreed to take over the operation of Petrel's 85pc interest in the Atlantic Porcupine Basin. Petrel has said the site could potentially produce as much as one billion barrels of oil.

It is common for smaller indigenous oil and gas companies to do these deals – "farm-outs" – with much larger operators that have the cash reserves to carry out drilling. The drilling of a single exploratory well costs an estimated €50m.

Petrel and Woodside will soon present their drilling plan to the Government for approval.

It is the second company, after Providence Resources, to raise the potential of a large commercially viable oil find off the Irish coast. Its share price jumped 350pc in one day when it announced the Porcupine Basin's one billion barrel potential last November.

The company also has operations in Iraq and Ghana.

"This is a momentous development for Irish offshore exploration, introducing a world leader in deepwater exploration and production. The Irish Porcupine Basin is a frontier province which needs new approaches" said Petrel's managing director, David Horgan.

"Woodside is considered a benchmark in gas and condensate development, and the most innovative large operator to have studied the Porcupine Basin. Woodside's rapid development of challenging projects in Australia's north-west shelf, including the recent Pluto LNG success, show what can be achieved. Woodside has discovered vast reserves, and brought them into production safely and quickly," he said.

Its share price was up 7pc yesterday to £15 (€17.60).

Irish Independent

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