Providence bullish on oil prospect
PROVIDENCE Resources said initial surveys suggest an oil field off Ardmore in Co Waterford could produce up to 230 million barrels of so-called heavy oil, which is a dense crude that does not flow easily.
The Dublin and London-listed exploration and production company said it has completed a technical assessment of the heavy oil potential which underlies the Ardmore gas field about 60km off the coast and about 90m below the sea's surface. Providence holds 72.5pc of the company, while partners Atlantic Petroleum and Sosina Exploration own the rest.
The field was discovered by Marathon Oil in 1974 and comprises a gas cap with an underlying heavy oil. Recent work in the area, which revealed the presence of potentially significant heavy oil resources at the nearby Baltimore discovery, also owned by Providence, prompted a re-evaluation of the field's potential within the Ardmore oil leg.
"Whilst further work needs to be carried out, we are suitably encouraged by this review," Providence chief executive, Tony O'Reilly, said. "We have agreed with the Ardmore partners to seek a heavy oil specialist to assess this discovery for potential future development."