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Providence reports loss before tax ahead of momentous project

PROVIDENCE Resources, the exploration company has reported a loss before tax of €9.8m for the six months to end of June, down from a profit of €0.58m the same time in 2010.

Revenues for the six month period fell by over 4pc to €5.717m, due to decreased volumes caused by interruptions in the completion of works from the 2010 drilling operations, which continued into 2011.

Providence said it incurred a once-off impairment charge of €4.4m related to the unfinished drilling programme at one of its Singleton's wells, off the British coast.

CEO Tony O'Reilly said the first six months of 2011 had been ''extremely busy'' for the company and its partners.

The company is about to start ''the biggest concerted drilling programme ever carried offshore Ireland', according to Mr. O’Reilly.

He added: 'Providence's shareholders have waited patiently for this moment, and the forthcoming spudding of the first well in the programme, on the Barryroe oil discovery, is a momentous step forward that should not only unlock the value of this particular asset but should also trigger a complete industry re-appraisal of the Irish offshore,''