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Providence Resources sells UK operations to fund Irish drilling

PROVIDENCE Resources, the Dublin-based explorer that found more than 1 billion barrels of oil at Barryroe in the Celtic Sea, said today that it sold its onshore UK operations to help fund further drilling in Irish waters.

The company sold its Singleton field and a 50pc stake in License 233, both in southern England, to IGas Energy Plc for $66m to become a company that specialises in Ireland.

Providence won’t need to borrow any more over the next 12 months to fund the biggest exploration programme ever begun in Irish waters. That has already yielded some success as the Barryroe field shows signs of oil and gas reserves “beyond our wildest dreams,” chief executive Tony O’Reilly told the Irish Independent today.

The company will use the funds to pay off debt and finance operations. “Our focus will continue to be the Irish drilling programme,” Mr O’Reilly added.

Providence shares rose 1.6pc in London trading.