New Celtic drilling start

Drilling has commenced on the first of two wells offshore southern Ireland in the Celtic Sea which aim to prove up new oil fields.

Providence Resources and its partners have kicked off the first well in a two-well programme with the Transocean Arctic II semi-submersible on the Hook Head oil accumulation.

Drilling on the 50/11-4 Hook Head well commenced yesterday, 4 August at 12 noon. Providence said in a statement today.

After completing the new Hook Head well, the Arctic II is due to move to drill a further appraisal well on the Dunmore oil prospect, 20 km (12.5 miles) north of Hook Head with the 50/6-4 well, which also lies in Standard Exploration Licence 20/7.

Drilling partners are Challenger Minerals Dyas BV, Forest Gate Resources, Atlantic Petroleum, and Sosina Exploration.

Hook Head lies in a water depth of 73 m (240 ft) 60 km (37.5 miles) offshore from the town of Wexford in southern Ireland. Three previous wells on the prospect have had oil shows and the original discovery well, 50/11-1, was drilled by Marathon in 1971 and logged 30 m (100 f t) of oil payzone in five Lower Cretaceous sections.

The find was not tested at the time, but was further appraised with 50/11-2 also drilled by Marathon in 1975, as a delineation well aiming for the down dip area of the anti-clinal structure, and encountered 7.62 m (25 ft) of pay.

Last year Providence drilled 50/11-3 located 2 km (1.25 miles) northeast of the 50/11-1 well and logged 33.5 m (110 ft) of pay. Casing string cement problems delayed a full flow test and that hole was suspended as a possible future production well.

Dunmore lies in a water depth of 70 m (229 ft) and was discovered by the 50/6-1
well drilled by Gulf Oil – now Chevron – in 1986 and flowed at 2,100 b/d of oil from a 18.3 m (60 ft) gross pay section.