The license, which covers the Newgrange area, was awarded earlier this year. It was previously a licensing option from the 2011 Irish Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. Water depths are around 1,000 m (3,281 ft).
Providence has contractedPolarcusMC and Seabird Exploration to provide 2,500 line km (1,553 mi) of new long-offset 2D seismic data over the area. Around 1,000 line km (621 mi) will focus on the Newgrange prospect.
The survey is expected to start this month using the M/VHarrier Explorer. The program will also tie into Polarcus’ South Porcupine basin MC3D survey, currently in progress over the Drombeg area where around 3,000 sq km (1,158 sq mi) of data have been acquired.
Additionally, it will cover the ExxonMobil-operated Dunquin North exploration well that proved an oil exploration play concept in Cretaceous-age carbonates in the area. Providence has interests in Drombeg and Dunquin North.
Previous subsurface studies highlight clastic and carbonate exploration prospectivity at Newgrange within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals. Seismic interpretation of existing 2D data has reveals two large stacked four-way structural closures at Base Cenozoic (Top Cretaceous) and Base Cretaceous (Top Jurassic) levels extending more than 1,200 sq km (463 sq mi).
The 62/7-1 well, 30 km (18.6 mi) from the Newgrange prospect and drilled off-structure, encountered hydrocarbon shows in Lower Jurassic sands.
In the Celtic Sea off southern Ireland, the government has extended the first phase of Providence’s standard exploration license 1/11 and licensing option 12/4, containing the Barryroe oil field and potential field extensions, through July 2015.
Additionally, the government has approved a change of operator from Providence to the company’s 100%-owned subsidiary Exola.