The duo was awarded the option under the 2011 Irish Atlantic Margin licensing round. The acreage is in the Goban Spur basin in around 1,000 m (3,281 ft) water depth, 260 km (161 mi) off southwest Ireland.
Following a mandatory 25% areal relinquishment, the partners have secured a frontier exploration license (FEL) 6/14, and have committed to acquire 1,000 km (621 mi) of 2D seismic over the area.
Subsurface studies during the license option period underlined clastic and carbonate prospectivity within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals.
Seismic interpretation of existing 2D reflection profile data revealed the presence of two large stacked four-way structural closures at both Base Cenozoic (Top Cretaceous) and Base Cretaceous levels, over a 1,000-sq km (386-sq mi) area.
The previously drilled 62/7-1 exploratory well, 30 km (18.6 mi) from the Newgrange prospect, was drilled down-structure, encountering hydrocarbon shows in Lower Jurassic sands.
Providence’s technical director John O’Sullivan said: “Previous drilling has highlighted the prospectivity within the Jurassic and Cretaceous intervals of the Porcupine basin, with much current industry focus on these Mesozoic play systems.
“The recentDunquin North exploration well has proven that oil has been generated in the adjacent southern Porcupine basin which flanks the Goban Spur and that Cretaceous carbonates can provide high porosity massive reservoir systems. The new 2D seismic program is being designed to de-risk the Newgrange prospect at both prospective levels and should provide the critical data in order to advance this material prospect towards drilling.”