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Providence says lack of ministerial consent a ‘key barrier’ to progressing Cork oilfield project

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Providence Resources applied for a lease undertaking from Energy Minister Eamon Ryan in January but has yet to hear back from the the Department.

Providence Resources applied for a lease undertaking from Energy Minister Eamon Ryan in January but has yet to hear back from the the Department.

Providence Resources applied for a lease undertaking from Energy Minister Eamon Ryan in January but has yet to hear back from the the Department.

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As Irish energy exploration company Providence Resources published its annual report, the chairman of the company has said the delay of Ministerial consent to permit the drilling of an appraisal well is the ‘key barrier’ in tapping what he termed a critically important indigenous source of oil and gas.

While Green Party representatives have railed against the idea of exploiting Barryroe, which experts estimate could produce 350m barrels of oil worth approximately €450m based on today’s prices, or any oil or gas field off the coast of Ireland, Providence Oil is arguing that oil is necessary during the transition to zero emissions by 2050

“Successful optimisation of the Barryroe Field presents a unique opportunity to develop a critically important indigenous source of oil and gas, to substitute part of the imports that will be needed to meet ongoing demand during the energy transition,” said Providence Chairman James Menton.

"The Barryroe Field has the potential to create significant employment opportunities and provide strategic and fiscal value to the Irish economy, at no cost to the Irish taxpayer.

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"The key barrier to progressing the project is the delay in Ministerial consent for the Lease Undertaking, to permit us to drill an appraisal well next year.

"Once we have the results of this appraisal well, we are confident that our development plans can be progressed rapidly and Barryroe can have a significant impact on Ireland’s security of energy supply over the next two decades.

"It’s an opportunity we cannot afford to squander as, in any scenario to 2050, there is still some level of demand for oil and gas through the duration of the energy transition to Net Zero."

A recent Dáil motion proposed by Independent Rural TD, Michael Collins of Cork South West, was soundly defeated when all of the Government parties joined with Sinn Féin to vote against the proposal. 

In its report, Providence Resouces said it was proceeding on the basis that it would be putting an appraisal well in place next year and that would ‘tee up a timeline for production to start in 2026’. 

In its results statement, for the twelve months ended December 31 2021, the exploration company meanwhile reported a €2.369m operating loss for the period, whilst on-paper an upward revision to the fair value of share warrants resulted in a €3.442m profit for the year.


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