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Fastnet to drill Foum Assaka in March

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Irish oil explorer firms are expecting a cash boost.

Irish oil explorer firms are expecting a cash boost.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish oil explorer firms are expecting a cash boost.

DRILLING on Fastnet's first Foum Assaka well will begin in March, the company has said.

The well, known as FA-1, will be the first to "spud" in the Foum Assaka licence area, located off the coast of Morocco.

Oil and gas explorer Fastnet's stake in the well will be about 9pc, once a "farmout" deal with Korean conglomerate SK Innovation is concluded. This deal means SK Innovation pays Fastnet's share of the costs of the well, up to $100m (€73m).

"This well and the multiple drilling opportunities that surround it offer the company potentially significant high-impact upside at minimal expected financial risk following the farmout agreement reached late last year with SK Innovation, a multinational company we are very pleased to be partnering with," said Fastnet managing director Paul Griffiths.

The party responsible for the actual drilling process, Kosmos, is aiming to reach depths of 4,000 metres. This should take about three months. A semi-submersible rig called Maersk Discoverer has been contracted to drill the well. This suggests a possible result by the end of June.

This will have ramifications for Fastnet's share price, analysts said.

The company's share price closed up 4pc to 12p yesterday.

Irish Independent