'Fenit Port has the capacity to benefit'

FENIT harbour has the capacity to become a major service port for oil operations off the Kerry coast within the decade, Petrel Resources founder and chairman John Teeling told The Kerryman.

Mr Teeling spoke to The Kerryman as shares in his company trebled following Monday's announcement of its discovery.

It believes it may be sitting on a deposit of oil of up to a billion barrels; representing a staggering €100 billion worth of the fuel.

"This is very similar to other sites in the Atlantic where oil is being extracted. It's a geological lookalike to those sites," he explained.

While the cost of drilling exploration is immense, factors such as the price of oil and the current technology make it viable.

"Oil is currently priced at €100 dollars a barrel and the technology has vastly improved since the explorations of the Porcupine 30 years' ago. Its exploration is well within the capability of a number of global companies and we have now to find a partner before drilling can commence."

He said the company is already fielding interest from major players in the industry and foresees test drilling taking place by 2014.

Crucially, Kerry will benefit a great deal from any future operations, he suggested. "Fenit would certainly have the capability to supply all of this... we're talking about massive supplies here."

Any environmental impact would be negligible given the technology and safeguards in use today, he claimed. "There should be absolutely no environmental impact. The very last thing an oil company wants is an environmental problem as it is so costly.

He paid tribute to Providence Resources for their dedication to the region over the last 30 years. Providence also announced a major oil find on Monday.

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