Saturday 24 March 2018

Helicopter group CHC to provide services to Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources

Oil announcement boosts shares. Photo credit: Providence Resources/PA Wire
Oil announcement boosts shares. Photo credit: Providence Resources/PA Wire

Sean Duffy

Helicopter group CHC will provide transport services to Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources’s offshore drilling operations under a new contract.

CHC has the separate €500m contract to operate the Irish Coast Guard’s search and rescue services. Last month, personnel at the firm were plunged into grief following the crash of Rescue 116 off the Co Mayo coast with the loss of four crew.

Rescue 116 crashed seventeen kilometres off Blacksod Bay, killing Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Captain Mark Duffy. Two other crew members, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciarán Smith have yet to be found despite extensive searches of the surrounding area.

Recordings from the aircraft’s black box which was found following an examination of the wreckage showed the helicopter’s navigation system did not include mapping of Blackrock Island. The crew only became aware of the island’s proximity seconds before impact.

CHC will provide transport serving Providence’s Druid/Drombeg exploration well, which is located 215 kilometres off the south west coast.

Providence will use CHC’s Sikorsky S-92 to fly to the well from Cork Airport beginning this June.

“With our extensive experience transporting offshore workers in the oil and gas industry, dedication to safety, and reputation for the highest quality service, we look forward to building on our relationship with the Providence team in Ireland,” said Mark Abbey, CHC regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Shares in Providence fell by 2.3pc on Dublin’s Iseq index yesterday.

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