Ireland: Providence takes Avalon system licence area

Providence Resources, an Irish based oil and gas exploration company, has been offered a licensing option in the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, which contains the paleocene “Avalon” channel and fan system. 

Following a recent conclusion of the second phase of awards in the recent Atlantic Margin Licensing Round, Providence-operated joint venture was offered Licensing Option 16/27 over a c. 1,324 km2 area in the Porcupine Basin. Providence now holds 80% interest in the licence and its long-term partner Sosina the remaining 20% interest.

The option area is located c. 150 km off the west coast of Ireland and is situated in c. 1,300 metre water depth. The Licensing Option lies directly adjacent to and north of Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 3/04, which contains the Lower Cretaceous Dunquin North residual oil column.

To remind, In July 2015, the company announced that it had agreed to acquire Atlantic Petroleum’s 4% stake in FEL 3/04. Subject to approval by the Irish Government and the fulfilment of the remaining terms and conditions under the farm-out agreement with Atlantic, the company’s equity in FEL 3/04 will increase from 16% to 20%.

Avalon system

During regional interpretation and mapping of vintage 2D seismic reflection data, Providence identified an areally extensive (c. 550 km2) north-south orientated Paleocene basin-floor channel and fan system (Avalon) within the axial part of the Porcupine Basin.

The Avalon system, which is located c. 2,500 metres BML, is interpreted to be sourced from the north of the basin and shales out in a southerly distal direction. A structural flexure down to the north negates the requirement for sandstone pinch out in the proximal direction, greatly improving reservoir sealing potential, Providence said. The presence of a thick sandstone interval is indicated by compactional drape morphologies which are imaged within parts of the system.

According to the company, the pre-existing Mesozoic structural grain appears to have exerted some control on deposition as evidenced by thickening of the system within pre-existing structural lows. Whilst limited seismic reflection gather data were available during the evaluation phase, the available data suggest the potential for a depth-conformant amplitude versus offset (AVO) anomaly similar to the nearby Druid prospect in FEL 2/14, said the company.

Providence also noted that the main element of the agreed work program during the 2-year option period is the purchase, reprocessing and interpretation of existing 2D seismic reflection data.

John O’Sullivan, Technical Director of Providence, said: “We are delighted to have secured this option over Avalon, which further demonstrates our growing position in the emerging Porcupine Basin Paleocene play.

“We are particularly encouraged with Avalon given its similarities to the nearby Druid prospect as well as its location adjacent to the Dunquin North residual oil accumulation which demonstrates the presence of an active petroleum system in this area.”