Tuesday 24 October 2017

Providence Resources to sell off major stake in Barryroe oilfield

FARM OUT: Tony O’Reilly
FARM OUT: Tony O’Reilly
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

Exploration company Providence Resources has hired the international financial advisers, Rothschild, to sell off a major stake in its Barryroe oilfield.

The oilfield, which is off the Cork coast, was discovered by Providence more than a year ago.

The Sunday Independent understands that Rothschild was appointed last month to sell off half of the interest held by Providence Resources and its partner, Lansdowne Oil and Gas, in the Barryroe oilfield. "The plan is to farm out half of Providence and Lansdowne's interest in return for an appropriate partner to take the project to first oil," said a well-placed source.

Providence holds an 80 per cent stake in the Barryroe licence which it operates on behalf of Lansdowne Oil and Gas, which has a 20 per cent stake.

Small exploration firms usually sell off a stake in any oil discoveries to larger firms in return for a share in revenues and not having to fund the development costs.

About eight months ago, Providence Resources boss Tony O'Reilly said a successful farm-out of Barryroe could be worth several billion dollars.

The Barryroe oilfield is just one of the exploration activities under Providence's belt. Providence is one of a group of companies which recently started to drill on the Dunquin well off the west coast of Ireland. The supermajor ExxonMobil is also drilling the site.

Providence is also part of a consortium which is drilling for oil and gas off the west coast of Ireland at Spanish Point. The Scottish explorer, Cairn Energy, recently joined the search at Spanish Point.

Another Irish oil asset, the Whitegate oil refinery in Cork, is up for sale. It's been about three months since the US-based oil refinery, Phillips 66, which is behind Whitegate, indicated that it was considering selling the refinery. A buyer has not yet been secured.

"Phillips 66 intends to continue operating the assets as usual during the marketing process which is expected to last for several months," said a spokesman for the company.

Irish Independent

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