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Providence finds more oil than expected off Cork coast

OIL and gas explorer Providence Resources said there are more oil reserves at its flagship Barryroe project off the coast near Cork, than previously thought.

This is the not first time the company has hiked its estimate of oil reserves at the field off Cork since Providence began searching for oil and gas earlier this year. In July, the company said there might be as much as 1.6 billion barrels. Now, the company says it has found two further reservoirs which may contain somewhere between 778 million to 1.16 billion further barrels. Further data required before final resource estimates are given, Providence added.

Providence is currently engaged in the biggest exploration programme ever undertaken in Irish waters. It expects to spend in the region of €500m to prospect for oil and gas around Ireland. It began in Barryroe where gas was found in the 1980s.

"The numbers are potentially material and provide room for significant resource growth in the Barryroe project in the longer term," said Providence's technical director John O'Sullivan in a statement yesterday.

The company added it will continue to focus on developing the Middle and Basal Wealden sands, for which it provided the updated oil in place estimates in July.

Shares in Providence rose 10 cent, or 1.2pc, to €7.95 in early trading in Dublin.