| 8°C Dublin

Wow, we've struck oil

THIS is the spectacular flare at the site of our newest oil find.

The Barryroe well off the coast of Cork is the site of Ireland's latest oil discovery.

Barryroe successfully flowed both oil and gas during tests, Providence Resources confirmed today.

Analysis of the flow confirms "highly mobile sweet oil" according to the company.

The well at Barryroe, 50km off the Cork coast, is understood to have shown a potential yield of 2,000 barrels of oil a day.

Analysts say the find makes developing the well commercially viable, given the rocketing price of crude oil.

Providence also said today that an upper gas-bearing zone at Barryroe is being prepared for testing.

Tony O'Reilly Jnr, chief executive of Providence, said today that he was pleased to report the flow rates exceeded their pre-drill target.

"The well has also confirmed that the basal sands are laterally continuous, highly productive and that the oils are of a very high quality," he said.


He also paid tribute to all the team members who helped deliver "such a successful outcome" to the programme within a challenging 15 month timeline since they assumed 'operatorship' of the site.

While small by Middle Eastern or North Sea standards, the discovery is big enough to give Ireland its first oil boom and could, sources say, have a significant spin-off benefit for the overall Irish economy.

Outline details of the Barryroe find were confirmed in February, but now drill testing results have highlighted the commercial viability of the well.

The oil has been classified as "light but waxy crude", of sufficient quality to justify construction of an extraction rig.

Providence now controls 80pc of the Barryroe field, which lies directly below the Seven Heads Gas Field, and will be hoping that it delivers comparable benefits to Ireland's major gas well at Kinsale Field.

The find could bring a major boost to the Cork economy, which has been hit hard by the recession.

The Department of Finance takes a 25pc share of any oil or gas revenues.

Providence shares have soared to €4.65, a hike of 180pc since 2011.