Drombeg well lets Providence down

Providence Resources, the Irish oil and gas company, is disappointed with well results at the Drombeg prospect in Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/14 offshore Ireland as the well contains a porous water-bearing reservoir interval. 

The license is located in the southern Porcupine Basin and it is operated by Providence Resources (56%) on behalf of its partners Capricorn Ireland Limited (a subsidiary of Cairn Energy, 30%) and Sosina Exploration Limited (14%).

The license contains the Paleocene “Druid”, Lower Cretaceous “Drombeg” and pre-Cretaceous “Diablo” prospects.

The 53/6-1 (pre-drill designation 53/6-A) well, which spudded on July 11, 2017, is located in c. 2,233 meters of water and c. 220 kilometers off the south-west coast of Ireland.

Providence informed on Monday that the well, drilled by the Stena IceMAX drillship, had reached a final total depth of 5,281 meters MDBRT, having penetrated the north flank of the Lower Cretaceous Drombeg Prospect, which was encountered within the pre-drill depth prognosis.

Logging together with down-hole sampling has confirmed that the Drombeg Prospect contains a porous water-bearing reservoir interval at the well location, said the company. The possible presence of bitumen was reported in drill cuttings within the Drombeg reservoir interval which may indicate that it received an oil charge which was not retained at this location.

However, the company added, further studies will be required in order to confirm this interpretation and its implications for the wider prospectivity within FEL 2/14. The well is currently being plugged and abandoned after which the Stena IceMAX will be demobilized from Irish waters.

Tony O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Providence said: “The 53/6-1 well results at the Drombeg level are disappointing and we will now assess these well data in order to understand what implications they have for prospectivity within the license including in the underlying pre-Cretaceous Diablo Prospect together with other anomalies within FEL 2/14. Frontier exploration requires perseverance and we look forward to seeing the outcome of exploration wells planned for acreage proximate to FEL 2/14, which will test plays similar to Diablo and to those which have proved to be successful in the conjugate Flemish Pass Basin, offshore Canada.”

“53/6-1 is situated in the deepest water of any exploration well ever drilled offshore Ireland and is an important operational milestone for Providence, being our first harsh environment ultra-deep water well operation. Furthermore, through our pre-drill commercial transactions with Cairn (farm-in) and Total (option), Providence’s financial exposure to the well was significantly reduced, thereby ensuring that we remain well funded for our forward drilling operations offshore Ireland, with Barryroe being planned as our next well in this program.”