Europa charts deepwater prospects offshore western Ireland

Offshore staff

LONDON – Europa Oil & Gas has provided an update on its licensing options LO 11/07 and LO 11/08 in the South Porcupine basin offshore western Ireland.

These cover a total area of around 2,000 sq km (772 sq mi), in water depths of 700-2,000 m (2,296-6,561 ft). Both were awarded under the 2011 Irish Atlantic Margin licensing round.

Europa has identified two large prospects, Mullen in LO 11/07, 200 km (124 mi) off southwest Ireland; and Kiernan in 1,780 m (5,840 ft) of water in LO 11/08, 145 km (90 mi) from the southwest coast. Both are in the lower Cretaceous clastic play, which also generated the undeveloped Burren oil discovery.

Seismic mapping shows potential for large stratigraphic closures of up to 120 sq km (46 sq mi) for Mullen and 244 sq km (94 sq mi) for Kiernan. The two prospects are supported by amplitude anomalies on 2D seismic data.

Detailed mapping reveals the development of a possible mechanism for trapping hydrocarbons. Other studies indicate potential for an additional lower Cretaceous source rock as well as the proven Jurassic source rock.

Reprocessing is under way of key seismic lines over both prospects and will be followed by a rock physics and 2D inversion study to calibrate the seismic response. Europa also continues discussions with potential farm-in partners.

Another operator in the area, Dublin-based Petrel Resources, is studying blocks 35/23, 35/24 and the western half of 35/25, and blocks 45/6, 45/11 and 45/16. These cover 1,400 sq km (540 sq mi) in the northern and eastern sections of the Porcupine basin.

Petrel has completed the first two phases of work on its northern and eastern blocks, and has identified several new targets at lower Cretaceous and Tertiary levels.

The company is inverting selected seismic data to test the anticipated presence of reservoir sands. It will integrate the results into its interpretations with a view to extrapolating data from historic wells.

Petrel aims to develop targets that will attract large partners that could sanction an early seismic campaign, followed by exploration wells.


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