The board has recently written twice to Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, asking him to issue consent for the Lease Undertaking, advising that a protracted delay or refusal would mean that Barryroe’s potential would not be realized.
In the board’s view, this would represent a serious failure in the national effort to transition Ireland’s economy to carbon neutral status by 2050. With gas and oil likely to remain essential energy sources to the country for many years, the board claims, the potential offered by successful development of the field would be important to Ireland’s energy gaols.
Additionally, the project could provide significant strategic and fiscal value to the economy at no cost to the Irish taxpayer.
Subject to Ministerial approval, Providence plans to proceed with an appraisal well in 2023 in the Basal Wealden A sands to resolve uncertainties. If successful, first production could follow in 2026, initially focused on Barryroe’s central area.
A new report by RPS Energy Consultants has concluded that 81.2 MMbbl of oil could be produced through the initial two-phase development. This could be followed by development of other Barryroe reservoirs, including its gas resources.
Providence added that it now has a clear understanding of the funding requirement for the initial development in the central area, but needs new equity funding this year for the appraisal well and preparatory work for the development.
Barryroe is thought to hold 346 MMboe, mainly oil which is sweet, light, and waxy. The reservoirs remain only partly appraised. With the Corrib gas field offshore northwest Ireland now in decline, and without any new finds, the board calculates that Ireland will have to import 100% of its gas by the end of 2031.
Providence’s technical team has recommended a subsea development, connected to an FPSO, to develop the Basal Wealden A sand reservoir. The initial Phase 1A would comprise five producer, one gas injector and four water injector wells for Segments 1, 2 and 3.
Phase 1B would target Segment 4 via three producer and two water injector wells.