Illustration; Source: Europa Oil & Gas

Gas discovery at Irish prospect could bring down emissions stemming from energy imports, report finds

UK-headquartered and AIM-listed oil and gas player Europa Oil & Gas is determined to move forward with the development of a license offshore Ireland, following a recent report that showed the potential of its gas prospect to strengthen the country’s energy security and assist in curbing its carbon footprint by significantly lowering the dependence on emission-intensive imports.

Illustration; Source: Europa Oil & Gas

The company has published a third-party report containing the results of an updated study that calculated the expected emissions associated with the planned development of a potential future 1 TCF indigenous gas discovery on the Irish offshore license FEL 4/19. The report, compiled by sustain:able, a UK-based company that specializes in forecasting greenhouse gas emissions associated with the upstream oil and gas industry, is the product of a remapping exercise of the prospects on the license and the 2022 emissions data recently published by the UK government.

The report was commissioned following Europa’s recently redefined 1.5 TCF Inishkea West prospect in the Slyne Basin, which the UK player classified as lower risk because it is located only 18 kilometers from the Corrib gas field and associated gas processing infrastructure.

Will Holland, Chief Executive Officer of Europa, said: “This updated emissions report reinforces the importance of the gas resource at Inishkea West, which has the potential to not only eradicate the need for higher emissions intensity gas imports from the UK for up to 3 years, but also a discovery would help Ireland meet its carbon emission reduction targets. A discovery at Inishkea West could provide security of gas supply for Ireland during the transition to renewable energy, which is in line with the EU’s stated goals for diversity of gas supply.

“FEL 4/19 contains the large 1.5 TCF low risk Inishkea West gas prospect where, given the proximity to existing infrastructure, a discovery could be brought online quickly providing domestic gas with, as this report demonstrates, significantly lower emissions intensity than imported gas from the UK, Norway or further afield. We are now in the process of progressing FEL 4/19 to drilling, which requires us to attract additional partners to this highly prospective licence.”

Even though the UK player temporarily stopped the farm-out process for the license to spruce up subsurface imaging last year, it plans to restart the process following this report and the recently secured extension of FEL 4/19 to January 31, 2026.

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Main takeaways from the report

The updated Irish license emissions report states that the projected production from Inishkea West has the potential to almost eliminate the need for gas imports from the UK in 2030 through to the end of 2032, based on demand predictions by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEA). As a result, a discovery at this prospect could curb emissions associated with gas imports.

In line with this, the carbon intensity of the indigenous gas from the license is expected to be 12 times lower than the weighted average carbon intensity of imported gas into Ireland from the UK in 2022, estimated to be 36 kgCO2/boe. 

While the average operational life-of-field emissions intensity for the Corrib gas field was found to be 5.3 kgCO2e/boe, the average operational life-of-field emissions intensity for indigenous gas on the license is forecast to be nearly 50% lower or 2.8 kgCO2e/boe.

The findings state that liquefied natural gas (LNG) accounted for 26.7% of gas imported from the UK in 2022 with a weighted average carbon intensity of 78 kgCO2/boe, which is over 27 times more CO2 than the gas from the license.

According to the report, one of the main reasons for the low emissions associated with the development of this potential gas discovery is the fact that gas would be produced through the existing subsea pipeline and facilities located at the Bellanaboy gas terminal.

Other factors said to be contributing to low emissions encompass the quality of the gas and the low levels of impurities associated with it, the quality of the reservoir anticipated, the projected initial production rates from Inishkea West wells, as well as the anticipated size of the gas resource, and the forecast production profiles linked to a gas discovery on the license.