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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:10 AM   #81
Catmalojin
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Quote:
FF calls for extensive review of fracking

LORNA SIGGINS and CHARLIE TAYLOR

Tue, Feb 21, 2012

FIANNA FÁIL energy spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív has called on Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte to initiate a far more extensive review of fracking than that already commissioned.

Mr Ó Cuív said he also believes there should be a moratorium on any State licensing related to the activity, pending publication of such a review.

The study of the technique’s impacts, which Mr Rabbitte commissioned late last year from the Environmental Protection Agency, has been contracted to the University of Aberdeen. That study is due shortly, but opponents of the practice in the northwest say the university’s close links with the oil and gas industry compromise its independence.

“Fracking” involves injecting large volumes of water, chemicals and sand into rock formations to break them open and extract previously inaccessible fossil fuel deposits, such as shale gas.

It has not yet been licensed here, but onshore petroleum licensing options allowing for “shallow geological sampling” have been awarded by the energy department to three companies for the Lough Allen and Clare basins, an 8,000sq km area covering 12 counties.

Mr Ó Cuív said that a “policy examination of fracking in terms of its impact on society, community, the environment” and the “long-term effect that an extractive industry might have on other industries in an area” needs to be carried out.

Jessica Ernst, a biologist and environmental consultant to the oil and gas industry, yesterday warned that there is no safe way to conduct fracking.

Ms Ernst, who has launched a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the exploration firm Encana for contamination of her property and drinking water from its fracking programme in Alberta, Canada, is in the country to speak at a number of events organised by the umbrella group Good Energies Alliance Ireland.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin yesterday, she said, “communities need to look at what they stand to lose rather than at what companies are promising”.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 03:07 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Catmalojin View Post
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Pardon me for speaking plainly, but that runt O'Cuimh annoys the crap out of me. He was amongst the worst examples of parish pump gombeen politics and now he is hoping on every band wagon going.
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 03:08 PM   #83
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Yes that is fine but the reason there is a big problem with this is because people complain about anything being built in Dublin or off the coast of Dublin. Then the same people go to the protests against the goverment saying they are not doing anything or not helping the country but then when the goverment have a plan to do something about it like look for oil or gas in Leitrim they are against it and stage a protest anyway. Its the same with highrise. People ask why Dublin is not competing with the rest of Europe and the answer is because you need the likes of highrise to compete and people are rejecting it so thats why. Its just getting stupid at this point. What I would say to the people who protest against fracking and finding oil off the West coast and places like that is dont complain then when there is no money being made and you dont have a job because when we plan on making money you reject what we have to do. Sacrafices have to be made if I am honest with you. Sorry for the rant.
You hit the nail on the head there JD!
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 03:10 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Catmalojin View Post
Two stories from today's Irish Times:
Whats the bets that the protesters will quietly ignore the results of the Texan report!?
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Old February 22nd, 2012, 06:14 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by thebig C View Post
You hit the nail on the head there JD!
I wish it was not the case to be honest.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #86
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Very encouraging news:

Quote:
Better than expected result from Barryroe well
Updated: 10:42, Monday, 27 February 2012


Providence Resources confirms light oil in Barryroe

Exploration company Providence Resources has said that its Barryroe appraisal well has so far provided better than expected results.

The company said that the north Celtic Sea well, off the south coast of Ireland, was drilled to a final depth of 7,550 feet and confirmed that all sands encountered were logged as hydrocarbon bearing, with light oil having been confirmed.

Providence said that it had expected positive results from this well but not to the extent and quality of the reservoir encountered.

"The confirmation of high quality light oil within a porous and potentially laterally extensive sandstone system is extremely encouraging," John O'Sullivan, Providence's technical director, said.

"These sands, which appear to have an intact overlying pressure seal, sit directly on a proven mature and oil prone source rock and therefore open the route to significant resource volumes within the Barryroe licence area,'' he added.

He said the company is looking forward to progressing the Barryroe project on foot of a successful outcome to its imminent well testing programme.

Providence holds an 80% interest in the licence and operates it on behalf of its partner Lansdowne Oil and Gas.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0227/pro...-business.html
Providence Resources official press release.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 06:38 PM   #87
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Hopefully the Providence prospect leads to actual production. Afterall, there were wells drilled in the Celtic Sea in the 1980s which had commercial potential, caused ructions on the Irish stock exchange....and were never operated!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #88
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It is positive news. It will be good news when they make some money.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #89
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Quote:
Providence shares soar on news of oil find off south coast

Tuesday February 28 2012
SHARES in Providence Resources soared yesterday after the company reported that it has found crude oil at what could be a large oil reservoir off the south coast of Ireland.

"We've delivered on what we said," Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly said yesterday. "The markets are reacting."

The shares rose as much as 25pc in Dublin after Providence said it had found light crude oil in a large sandstone reservoir about 7,550ft under the sea off the south coast. Providence found the crude oil while drilling an appraisal well -- its fifth in the area.

All the wells have shown evidence of oil, which suggests the field could be larger than previously hoped. Oil samples from the reservoir have now been sent for testing in a UK laboratory.

"This is uniformly good news for Providence shareholders," said Joe Langebroek, of Davy Stockbrokers. "The next step is the flow test but so far so good."

Providence, which owns 80pc of the Barryroe oil field, expects to conduct a flow test in few days' time. That test will give a good indication of whether the find is commercial and the results could be made public in early March.

Flow test

Analysts said the well must produce about 1,800 barrels of oil or gas equivalent every day to make commercial sense. Any oil could eventually be transported by pipe to the Whitegate refinery in Cork.

Providence is engaged in the biggest drilling programme in Irish history as it looks for oil and gas off the Irish coast. Barryroe was one of the first areas to be drilled because it has proven reserves. Providence hopes new drilling techniques and better computer imaging mean that it will be possible to find commercial oil.

"The market is moving to us," Mr O'Reilly said. "Prices and technology are helping."

Technical director John O'Sullivan said Providence could now look forward to materially progressing the project.

"These sands, which appear to have an intact overlying pressure seal, sit directly on proven, mature and oil-prone source rock and therefore open the route to significant resource volumes within the Barryroe licence area," he said.

Providence holds an 80pc interest in the licence and operates it on behalf of its partners, San Leon Energy and Lansdowne Oil and Gas. The shares closed up 77c, or 22pc, at €4.20 in Dublin yesterday.

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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #90
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Great news!

Quote:
Hopes soar as oil find exceeds targets
By Conor Keane, Business Editor

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012



Hopes for Ireland’s first commercial oil strike have soared after tests broke key targets yesterday.

Providence Resources’ exploration off the Cork coast broke the 1,800 barrels per day figure set by the exploration company as being "commercial".

The Irish Examiner understands that flows of 2,000 barrels of oil per day have been achieved during the test on the appraisal well at Barryroe, 48km off the Cork coast.

If this flow is maintained for the remainder of the test period, then the first oil from an Irish well should arrive on shore by 2014.

Independent analysis suggests that the Barryroe prospect contains 59m barrels of "light but waxy crude oil".

A well of this size would be regarded as small but commercial and could underpin the future of Whitegate oil refinery.

This is the fifth time oil has been found during explorations of the Barryroe licensing block, but the other wells, drilled in the 1970s and 1990s by Esso and Marathon, fell below the commercialisation target.

A Providence Resources spokeswoman said yesterday: "Flow test operations continue with an update announcement due shortly."

Providence shares have risen by more than 180% in the last 12 months and closed yesterday at €4.65, up 5.44% on the day.

Just last December Providence increased its equity stake in the Barryroe field to 80% from 50% when it bought out San Leon Energy. Lansdowne Oil and Gas plc holds the remaining 20% and its shares traded up 0.52% yesterday.

Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly Jr said the implications for the Irish economy of a Barryroe oil find were considerable.

"While our shareholders are paramount in our mind, we also hope that our success will be a catalyst for investment in Ireland Inc.

"We have made no secret that our company has always invested in Ireland. We think this field can have great ancillary benefits for the Irish economy."

In briefing documents released by Providence when it disclosed its find on Feb 9, the firm outlined what they regard as the implications of a commercial oil find for Ireland.

"With commercial success, the benefits for Ireland include more foreign direct investment, and with no state support or subsidies, and with a tax take double that of other industries — the tax rate for natural resources is 25% — the exchequer will benefit from increased revenues."

Providence said an oil find would result in more security of energy supply, resulting in new jobs as well as commercial opportunities.

"Importantly, it should also herald a renaissance of the Irish offshore industry, thereby attracting more international investment, which will allow exploration activities which hopefully will lead to more commercial success and will, in turn, allow Ireland to fully exploit its hydrocarbon potential," Providence said.

Picture: Drilling at Barryroe, off the coast of Cork.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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Old March 14th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #91
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That is really good to hear. It would be great to see it happen soon.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:54 PM   #92
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Some more news on the recent find:

Quote:
Providence oil: what does it all mean?
16:26, 15 March 2012 by Fearghal O'Connor


The flare from oil burning at the Barryroe well this week.

The share price of Providence Resources went through the roof this morning after it announced the latest results from its drilling programme off the Cork coast.

So what does the Providence announcement mean?


In world and historical terms, the Barryroe oil field is not likely to be earth shattering. The biggest finds are measured in billions of barrels of recoverable oil and Barryroe comes in at a (conservatively) estimated 60 million barrels.

In terms of how quickly that oil can be got out of the ground, the figures are also not massive on a world scale. The latest tests from Barryroe show that the field has a rate of flow of 3,514 barrels of oil per day, relatively modest in comparison to some.

But in Irish terms and in terms of expectations that is a very big deal. The result "materially exceeds" the 1,800 barrels of oil per day the company originally targeted before drilling started. It is by far the most promising statistic to come out of the Irish oil exploration industry in a very long time, perhaps ever.

How much is this find worth?

Providence still needs to carry out a lot of testing before there is a definite answer to that question but there are some good indicators. An independent study of the prospect found that it could have a net present value of about €800 million. That is a mid case estimate based on the price of a barrel of oil at $85 (it is currently at $125). The company also hopes to improve upon that following the positive results it has achieved.

But how much is it worth to Ireland?

There are many ways to answer this question. A successful commercial oil well off the coast of Cork will generate jobs both on the rig, through onshore services and on the vessels that need to service it. The current appraisal well itself has meant a $5 million boost into the local economy in Cork. A big commercial find could generate a much more widespread and sustained boost. It is estimated that half a million jobs have been created by the oil industry in the Aberdeen, although obviously one Barryroe could not come close to achieving what North Sea oil has done for the Scottish town.

What about the Government coffers?

There has been much debate about whether the exploration industry is taxed enough or too much here. The basic tax level is 25 per cent of the profits that Providence achieves from the field. That could rise to 40 per cent if it proves extremely profitable.

The oil industry argues that with a strike rate of just 2 per cent in Irish waters, a higher tax rate on success would make exploration not worthwhile and the early movers have to be rewarded.

Why was this oil not found sooner?

It was. Back in the 1970s an Exxon Mobil subsidiary found this oil but did not develop it because it has a high wax content. From 2008 Providence reevaluated the discovery using new 3D seismic technology (it basically took a cat scan of it) to get a better idea of its potential. It also used new technology to insulate the drilling pipes to keep the oil hot as it rose to the surface. This allows waxy oil to flow more easily.

What’s next for Providence?

It is still doing tests on the well but will cap it this weekend, leaving all the drilling works for reuse. So far it has drilled straight down into the reservoir, a distance of just 24 feet. But Providence plans to ultimately drill sideways. The reservoir containing the oil deep underneath the Celtic Sea is in a thin layer but may stretch a long distance. Drilling sideways into this layer will allow Providence to exploit a much larger amount of oil. One of the things that particularly pleased the company from its tests was the quality of the oil, which it said was very mobile, meaning it flows more easily.

Barryroe could well be developed in conjunction with a major international partner with the deep pockets to fully develop its potential.

Meanwhile, Barryroe is just one of a number of promising prospects that Providence hopes to drill right around the Irish coast, from Rathlin right around the west coast and the Celtic Sea to Dalkey.

The Business Post
Quote:
Providence strikes oil off Cork coast
Updated: 17:12, Thursday, 15 March 2012


First commercial oil flow rate off Irish coast

Shares in exploration company Providence Resources have risen sharply after it said it has struck oil off the Irish coast.

This morning it announced that its Barryroe well off the coast of Cork had delivered the first potential commercial flow rate of oil offshore of Ireland.

Oil and gas is successfully flowing from the well at double the rate expected. The find is 50km out to sea, and 100 metres deep.

Providence has an 80% stake in Barryroe, with Lansdowne Oil & Gas holding the remaining 20%.

Providence CEO Tony O'Reilly said the flow rates of 3,514 barrels of oil per day (bopd) at the well were well ahead of the company's pre-drilling expectations of 1,800 bopd. He added that drilling had shown that the oils were of a very high quality. Further tests are now planned at the well.

He told RTÉ's Morning Ireland there was more work to be done at Barryroe, but he hoped the find would put Ireland on the map and attract more oil and gas exploration investment to the country.

Providence shares closed almost 12% higher at €5.76 in Dublin this evening.

Story from RTÉ News:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0315/pro...-business.html
Quote:
Ireland oil strike raises hopes for exploration boom
Providence Resources boss Tony O'Reilly Junior said: 'I think this discovery also creates a reappraisal in the minds of global oil corporations about coming back to Irish waters to drill for oil'

Henry McDonald in Dublin
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 March 2012 15.51 GMT


Providence Resources oil rig operating in Barryroe, off County Cork. The company's oil is expected to trigger an oil exploration boom in the Republic. Photograph: Finbarr O'Rourke/Providence Reso/PA

Oil has been struck off the County Cork coast in a potentially multibillion-pound discovery that could help to drag Ireland's recession-stricken economy out of the mire.

Dublin-based Providence Resources announced on Thursday that oil has successfully started to flow from its Barryroe well in the first big find in Irish territorial waters.

The oilfield, which is about 50 kilometres off the Cork coast, has a flow of more than 3,500 barrels a day, a number which exceeds the company's original projections of 1,800 barrels.

One recent audit of the area found that it might contain the potential to produce almost 1bn barrels of oil, making the field worth billions at today's crude prices of well over $100 a barrel.

The test area off the Cork coast covered 300 sq km, which according to Providence is equivalent to a medium-to-large North Sea oil field. The oil was discovered at a depth of about 100 metres in the sea bed.

Successful drilling at the Barryroe well will increase pressure on the Irish government to grant permission for oil exploration at five further sites in Irish waters. These include the most controversial site, at Dalkey Island in Dublin Bay, close to an exclusive stretch of the capital's coastline which is home to Irish rock stars such as Bono and Enya.

If an oil rig were constructed near the uninhabited island it would be in the line of sight of homes belonging to celebrities on Dublin's so-called "gold coast". An alliance of community groups in one of the richest parts of Ireland as well as conservation groups such as Birdwatch Ireland and An Taisce, the republic's National Trust, are understood to be planning a campaign against the drilling project. The island is home to a seal colony and the waters around it are used for fishing pollock and mackerel as well sea diving.

Providence Resources, whose chief executive is Tony O'Reilly Jr, the son of the former boss of Independent News and Media, said it was pleased the flow rates from Barryroe were higher than the pre-drilling target.

O'Reilly said the discovery was a "seminal day for Ireland, especially in the runup to St Patrick's Day". Of the higher than expected oil flows he said: "As the Americans say, 'We didn't hit a home run, we knocked the ball out of the park'. I think this discovery also creates a reappraisal in the minds of global oil corporations about coming back to Irish waters to drill for oil. Irish territorial waters are massively under-explored." The oil was of good quality, described as "light but waxy crude".

O'Reilly said the company was exploring for oil in Northern Ireland near Rathlin Island and he hoped the Barryroe find would lead to the creation of an onshore oil industry in Ireland.

"We've always said as an Irish company we want to use as much Irish infrastructure and resources as we can. We don't have an oil industry in Ireland at present but I hope something like Barryroe and the success we are getting in that will thrive more interest in creating more of an infrastructure in Ireland."

While the find is small by the standards of the Middle East or even the North Sea it could reduce the republic's national energy bill and have a significant spinoff for the entire economy.

Ireland is heavily dependent on imported oil and gas. The Irish Offshore Operators' Association points out that more than 90% of Irish gas is imported while oil accounts for nearly 60% of overall Irish energy consumption.

Fergus Cahill of the Irish Offshore Operators' Association said: "It's very encouraging and positive. First of all it's the first discovery in Irish waters that looks to be declared commercial. The flow rates are encouraging. Secondly, it will encourage other explorers because one of the problems that have dogged Ireland has been the explorations in the past. Almost all of these discoveries were of gas, not oil. If it gets developed, which we hope it will, it will reduce our dependency on imports, increase taxation revenue and create jobs."

The Irish exchequer will benefit from the potential oil boom as the republic's department of finance gains a 25% tax take from any oil or gas revenues.



© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 06:38 PM   #93
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Providence shares have rocketed on this find. Investors like this.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #94
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Meh, I really really hope this goes ahead. However, there was a company in the 1980s called Atlantic resources which had similar finds, one of which could produce 10k bpd.....apart from shareholders making a killing through speculation nothing happened. I believe the same family are behind Providence.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #95
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Press release from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources:

Quote:
Minister O Dowd welcomes announcement by Providence Resources that testing for the Barryroe oil appraisal well has been successful.

Minister O’Dowd says he is pleased to see an emerging new exploration play off Ireland's coast.

Dublin, Thursday 15th March 2012


Barryroe Well 48/24-10z - Test Results

Standard Exploration Licence 1/11, North Celtic Sea Basin, Offshore Ireland


Dublin, 15 March 2012

Mr Fergus O Dowd, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, welcomes today’s announcement by Providence Resources plc that testing of their Barryroe oil appraisal well, 48/24-10z, has been successful. The flow rates achieved are the highest so far for any testing operations in the Wealden formation and represent the first significant flows of oil on test anywhere offshore Ireland in twelve years. Commenting on the announcement, Minister O’Dowd said

“I am particularly pleased to see such significant flow rates from the basal Wealden sandstone which is emerging as a new exploration play within this basin.

My Department is actively promoting exploration for oil and gas both for security of energy supply and as a potentially valuable source of revenue. The results of the Barryroe well further demonstrate the hydrocarbon potential present offshore Ireland and this good news should be of considerable interest to the oil industry.

Finally, may I wish Providence and their licence partner Lansdowne Oil & Gas plc every success with their endeavours and hope that the substantial work programme they have committed to on Barryroe will lead to a development.”


Ends

Press Office,
Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources,
29-31 Adelaide Rd,
Dublin 2.

+353 1 6782441 / 087 6937580
Press.office@dcenr.gov.ie
http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/
Quote:

Barryroe oil output could hit as much as 20,000 barrels a day
By Conor Keane, Business Editor
Friday, March 16, 2012

Oil production at Ireland’s first commercial discovery could reach as high as 20,000 barrels a day when production commences at the Barryroe field in the next three years.

Yesterday, Providence Resources chief executive Tony O’Reilly Jnr confirmed Wednesday’s Irish Examiner story that a commercial oil field had been discovered.

Providence Resources technical director John O’Sullivan said that depending on the production strategy deployed, the field could produce as much as 20,000 barrels per day (bopd). The UCC geology graduate said they may utilise horizontal wells to give better access to the 300 sq km oil field — equivalent to a medium to large North Sea oil field.

Mr O’Reilly said flow rates of 3,514 bopd had been discovered at 100-metre depth in the North Celtic Sea Basin.

"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. This is twice the 1,800 bopd target set by Providence as being large enough to deem it a commercial find.

Mr O’Reilly, whose family owns a 20% stake in Providence, said the company was looking to upgrade the total field estimates, standing at 60 million barrels of recoverable oil.

"Hopefully those resource figures will increase and the recovery factor will increase and allow us to have substantial production... we haven’t put out any numbers though we do feel that there is an opportunity for an upgrading in the size of this accumulation," he said.

Mr O’Sullivan said the 500 bopd equivalent in gas, which the well is throwing off, would be used to power a production oil rig. Any spare capacity could be diverted to the gas pipeline serving the Seven Head Gas Filed, just 3km from Barryroe discovery.

In a flash equity note, Davy Stockbrokers analysts Job Langbroek and Caren Crowley said the find had important implications across the board and upped the price target for the company’s shares which are traded in Dublin and London.

This is the fifth time oil has been hit during explorations of the Barryroe licensing block, but the other wells fell below the 1,800 bopd commercialisation target and were drilled in the 1970s and 1990s by Esso and Marathon. Three wells were drilled in the 1970s by Esso and a further well was drilled by Marathon in the early 1990s and all four wells encountered hydrocarbons.

Mr O’Reilly said while the original drills confirmed oil accumulations, modern technology in the industry had brought exploration on leaps and bounds.

Mr O’Reilly said he hopes the discovery will lead to the creation of an onshore oil industry in the country. He said all the equipment, personnel and services he needs to work on a well come from Aberdeen. "Why can’t we have a surface industry in Ireland to service the Irish offshore?" he asked.

Mr O’Reilly praised the Providence team and contractors that helped establish the find as commercial. "Given that we only assumed operatorship of Barryroe in late 2010, I would like to pay tribute to all of the team members who have helped to deliver such a successful outcome to this programme", he said.

The data represented the first "significant" test flows of oil off Ireland in 12 years, Energy Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd said in a statement.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, March 16, 2012
Quote:
State to cash in on oil strike
By Thomas Molloy
Friday March 16 2012


An oil strike off the coast of Cork could be worth hundreds of millions of euro to the economy, with the Exchequer set to benefit massively.

Providence Resources -- the biggest oil exploration company operating in Irish waters -- yesterday said that the oil find off the south-west coast was much larger than anticipated.

The Barryroe oil field, about 50km from Kinsale, has better quality oil than previously thought and much bigger quantities of the black gold. It had previously been estimated that the field held 60 million barrels of oil but it is now believed to be much larger.

According to oil expert Job Langbroek of Davy stockbrokers, the find will generate at least $600m (€458m) profit. And the State will benefit as it taxes these profits at between 25pc and 40pc.

"The only region in the UK that hasn't had a recession is Aberdeen," said Mr Langbroek. "This is largely due to its oil industry."

Shares in Providence jumped as much as 20pc in Dublin and London as investors cheered the news.

The company said a test well produced oil at a rate of 3,500 barrels a day -- almost twice the rate needed for the field to be commercial.

"This is a wow day," Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly told the Irish Independent.

Belief that Ireland has oil reserves has "gone from scepticism to wow", he added.

Techniques

New drilling techniques and computer technology is allowing explorers to find oil and gas in areas that were once seen as hopeless. Tullow Oil, which also has Irish links, has discovered oil in Ghana and transformed the local economy.

Providence will now sift through information gathered over the last few months and publish a new estimate within months for the amount of oil within the 300 sq km field. It will probably take Providence two or three years to begin pumping the oil ashore.

The company has had about 60 calls from companies in the Scottish oil capital of Aberdeen, Mr O'Reilly said.

"In the old days if you mentioned Ireland, people would cross to the other side of the street. It's not like that now."

Providence is flying workers from Aberdeen every day to work on the exploration programme because the Irish oil industry is too small.

"I really hope this changes," added Mr O'Reilly, who is a son of Providence's largest shareholder, the newspaper magnate Sir Anthony O'Reilly.

The find came early in Providence's €500m exploration programme, which is looking for oil in six huge swathes within Irish waters.

A series of discoveries in any of these basins would generate significant funds for the Government. Several other north European countries, including Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway, have seen huge boosts to the economy in recent decades following significant oil finds.

"The discovery could be very rewarding because anywhere from 25-40pc tax would be payable on a commercial development. That would be a very big boom for the Irish Exchequer," Mr O'Reilly said.

While Barryroe is around the same size as a medium to large North Sea oil field, the geology is different and the oil may be more difficult to extract.

However, Providence said that the oil was less viscous than water and less waxy than previously thought. This means the oil coming from Barryroe is likely to be better quality than Brent crude and will sell for higher prices.

Evidence from the drilling suggests that the size of the reservoir is also much bigger than previous forecasts of 60 million barrels, prompting some analysts to predict that the amount of oil that can be removed from the sea will be twice as much as previously thought. The reservoir also appears to be one giant pool rather than separate chambers, which would have complicated the drilling process.

The results "represent the first significant flows of oil on test anywhere offshore Ireland in 12 years", Junior Energy Minister Fergus O'Dowd said.

Providence owns 80pc of Barryroe while London-listed Lansdowne Oil & Gas owns the rest. The exploration companies will now likely bring in production partners to share the cost and risk of drilling for oil.

- Thomas Molloy

Independent.ie
Quote:
Oil's well but no sign of Dallas fever in Cork

BARRY ROCHE

Sat, Mar 17, 2012


Bright spark: an oil rig operating in Barryroe. Photograph: Finbarr O'Rourke/Providence Resources/PA

The announcement that the Barryroe oil field off the Cork coast is commercially viable has been welcomed, but nobody is counting their barrels just yet

‘WE ALREADY HAVE the southern accents, but we will probably have to get 10-gallon Stetsons to prove we’re real oilmen,” quipped one wag to another on Cork’s South Mall this week as news broke that oil had been found off the Cork coast.

Not that anyone was rushing around the streets of the city predicting that Leeside was set to become another Dallas after Providence Resources announced test results on the Barryroe oil field had confirmed it was commercially viable.

True, the Evening Echo did herald the news with a front-page splash under the headline, “Oil Right Boy!”, but nobody on Leeside is swotting up on the intricacies of Brent crude to impress their friends just yet.

Indeed, the response has been, if not muted, then certainly measured from all sides of the political and environmental divides involved in debating such matters – a reflection perhaps of the recognition that oil may well help us out of our economic.

Cllr John O’Sullivan of Fine Gael, who lives in and represents the coastal parish of Barryroe between Kinsale and Clonakilty, says: “I suppose people in Barryroe aren’t really expecting any great local spin-off in that it’s 50km off shore and the expectation is that the oil will be piped to Whitegate and the rig serviced by helicopters from Cork Airport, so there won’t be much benefit for the local area.

“At the same time, it’s good news for the Cork economy and the Irish economy and people obviously welcome that.

“There have been four or five wells drilled over the past 20 years and every time it seemed that we were on the cusp of a major discovery, it fell through.

“I wouldn’t say people were sceptical after news broke over the last few months about oil being found, but they just wanted to wait and see what materialised in terms of commercial viability given previous experiences and now that looks very positive.”

Esso had drilled three wells in the field in the 1970s and Marathon had drilled another one there in the 1990s, but none had proven commercially viable. However, rising oil prices and advances in technology have changed all that for Providence Resources.

According to Tony O’Reilly, the chief executive of Providence, flow rates of 3,514 barrels of oil a day have been confirmed at the Barryroe field, almost double the the company’s stated target rate of 1,800 barrels a day, which would make the 100-metre deep site commercially viable.

“The well has also confirmed that the basal sands are laterally continuous, highly productive and that the oils are of a very high quality,” said O’Reilly in a statement, while Providence technical director John O’Sullivan predicted flows could reach 20,000 barrels a day.

The news has been welcomed by Cork Chamber whose chief executive Conor Healy points to the advantages of the oil being brought ashore in Cork and the benefits it could create for the local economy.

“Clearly, it’s early days yet and we look forward to understanding more about the field’s potential – obviously it has national significance for Ireland but it also offers great promise in terms of additional economic activity for Cork too.

“Cork has a long track record of infrastructure provision for energy-related projects such as the Whitegate oil refinery, while we also have a workforce with engineering and project management experience from the pharmaceutical sector going back 20 years.”

THAT EXISTENCE OF of infrastructure also informs the views of former Green Party TD and senator, Dan Boyle, when he suggests that Cork may not find itself embroiled in the sort of controversy that Mayo has experienced when it comes to bringing the oil ashore.

“Obviously it’s an economic fillip for Ireland and one that we badly need. We are entering the era of peak oil and oil will run out, but we might as well take advantage of this discovery while we can,” he says.

“We have some advantages in Cork in terms of existing infrastructure. We already have the Kinsale gas pipeline and an oil refinery in Cork Harbour, so we should not experience the sort of difficulties that other places have in terms of setting up new infrastructure.”

Tony Lowes of Friends of the Irish Environment says: “I would expect that the infrastructure is already there – I wouldn’t like to be facing into another major refinery or development along the coast, but I don’t think that’s going to be necessary.”

However, he stressed that there remained the possibility of environmental damage and it was important government agencies ensured proper regulatory standards are maintained.

It could take up to three years before the oil starts coming ashore, but rather than thinking Dallas, Corkonians might be better advised to look north to Scotland where Aberdeen underwent huge economic development on the back of North Sea oil.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old March 18th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #96
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Hopefully the flow rate will increase at least higher than 20,000 barrels a day at that well. This can be achieved through "horizontal drilling" apparently. Also I suspect more companies will be enticed to drill aswell in other areas. So it's good news. It's our first confirmed commercial find.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #97
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Meanwhile, in Dublin...

Quote:
People shouldn't worry about Dublin oil drilling, says O'Reilly

PAUL CULLEN in New York

Tue, Mar 20, 2012

THE BOSS of the oil company planning to drill exploratory oil and gas wells in Dublin Bay says people should not be worried about its plans.

Tony O’Reilly jnr, chief executive of Providence Resources, believes the company has a one-in-four or one-in-five chance of making a commercial oil find off the Dublin coastline.

Providence’s plans to drill wells six kilometres off Dalkey have sparked considerable opposition, particularly in south Dublin. More than 700 submissions, most of them objecting, have been made to the Department of Environment, which will decide shortly whether to grant a foreshore licence application.

Speaking in New York, where he attended Ireland Day events at the stock exchange, Mr O’Reilly admitted that the company had received a lot of negative press but said people “shouldn’t be worried about Providence”.

“People felt there wasn’t a lot of explanation but we’ve now done all the open public consultation,” he said. While some people were opposed to the drilling plans, and were entitled to their views, others were in favour.

Mr O’Reilly said the company’s plans to explore for oil, subject to the necessary permissions, would not create permanent infrastructure or change amenities.

He said people became concerned because they hadn’t been aware that Providence was seeking a foreshore licence and it “happened quite quickly”.

Last week, Providence announced it had struck oil in commercial quantities in the Ballyroe field off Co Cork. Mr O’Reilly said it was also drilling off Co Clare, Co Kerry and off Northern Ireland.

Providence has its roots in Atlantic Resources plc, founded in 1981 by Sir Anthony O’Reilly.

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #98
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Quote:
Norwegian officials in Dublin to discuss Ireland’s oil discoveries

Mar 20th, 2012, 9:08 am



Newstalk


Norwegian officials and experts in offshore exploration are in Dublin today to discuss best practice for future oil or gas discoveries in Ireland.

Last week’s oil strike off the Cork coast will be on the agenda at a meeting with the Committee on Natural Resources.

They will also discuss how to avoid mistakes made with the Corrib gas project, including a lack of consulation with the local community in Mayo.

Committee Chairman Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle says Norway is held up as an example of international good practice in offshore exploration.
..
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:12 PM   #99
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Quote:
Providence says Barryroe gas beats targets
Updated: 12:02, Friday, 23 March 2012


Providence Resources said today that a well off the coast of Ireland that flowed oil at rates it believed to be commercial also produced more gas than it had expected.

The exploration company said last week its Barryroe well in waters off the coast of Cork flowed oil at a rate of 3,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd), exceeding the 1,800 barrel rate it said was needed for the oil field to be commercial. The find is 50km out to sea, and 100 metres deep.

Today it said that final test results from the site showed a gas bearing zone produced initial flows of 1,350 bopd, far exceeding expectations.

"We are very pleased to confirm that the gas zone was far more productive than we had anticipated. The well lies just 3 km from installed pipeline infrastructure which may provide a future route to monetise any surplus Barryroe gas production," chief executive Tony O'Reilly said.

Providence has an 80% stake in Barryroe, with Lansdowne Oil & Gas holding the remaining 20%.

www.rte.ie
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Old March 24th, 2012, 03:42 AM   #100
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Very positive news! Hopefully there'll be more finds before long, particularly along the Atlantic Margin.
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