| 18.1°C Dublin

Cairn buys into Irish waters

EXPLORATION firm Chrysaor says it has signed a deal to bring a partner into one of its exploration licences off the west coast of Ireland, in the latest vote of confidence from the industry for Ireland.

The oil and gas explorer said it has signed a farm-in with Cairn Energy which will see that company gain the right to take on 38pc of Chrysaor's holding and take over as operator of the licence off Spanish Point.

The move, which sees Cairn Energy come into the offshore Ireland scene, further improving the perception of the country as a potential venue for exploration. Exxon begins drilling at Dunquinn in the Atlantic later this month.

Cairn is a mid-sized Scottish firm with interests across Asia. It made a little more than $70m (€53.5m) last year.

The Spanish Point discovery is 200 miles off the west coast. It was discovered in the early 1980s but it was not economically viable to drill at that stage.

Chrysaor chief executive Phil Kirk said he was "pleased to welcome" Cairn to the project.

"We look forward to working together with them, Providence and Sosina, to prove the transformational potential that exists within the Spanish Point area," he said. Providence Resources, which holds 32pc of Spanish Point, also welcomed the arrival of Cairn.

Irish Independent