The concession covers 992 sq km (383 sq mi) in the Padraig basin. Following the completion of a work program, Europa has the option to apply to the Irish authorities for conversion to a full frontier exploration license (FEL).
The company plans to further mature the prospect inventory and will seek a farm-in partner for the FEL conversion and in due course drill an exploration well, subject to a positive technical and commercial outcome from a 2D seismic reprocessing campaign.
LO 16/22 is on the eastern margin of the Rockall basin and contains numerous exploration leads in water depths of 800-2,000 m (2,624-6,562 ft). It is 300 km (186 mi) west of Ireland and 150 km (93 mi) west of the Spanish Point and Burren discoveries.
The Pre-rift oil play comprises Lower and Middle Jurassic sandstone reservoirs in large tilted fault block structures with Jurassic source rocks, with further potential for a Triassic gas play.
The Syn-rift play comprises Upper Jurassic source rocks that provide the pre-eminent source rock around the North Atlantic hydrocarbon province and which typically charge Pre-rift reservoirs and Upper Jurassic shallow marine, fan, and slope apron sandstone reservoirs. Traps are tilted fault blocks.
A 2D survey shot for Phillips Petroleum in 1998 is of good quality and could respond well to modern reprocessing, allowing maturation of leads to drillable prospect status without the need for acquiring new seismic data.
Europa CEO Hugh Mackay said: “Following Statoil’s exploration success at the play-openingBay du Nord oil discovery in the Flemish Pass basinoffshore Newfoundland there is considerable industry interest in Flemish Pass analogues being found offshore west Ireland.
“Whilst most of the industry is currently focused on exploring for this play in theSouth Porcupine basin our restoration of the conjugate margin prior to Atlantic seafloor spreading suggests the possibility that the Padraig basin may be a better fit with the Flemish Pass basin.
“The potential of the Flemish Pass play in Ireland is currently being pioneered in the South Porcupine basin by the oil majors. If they achieve exploration success we expect there will be clear technical read across to, and potentially de-risking of, our Padraig licence and in due course this might encourage a second phase of drilling in the perched basins on the Rockall margin.”
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