Ruadhan seismic data review indicates large pre-Cretaceous structure offshore Ireland

Offshore staff

DUBLIN, IrelandProvidence Resources has issued results newly analyzed data from the Ruadhan 3D seismic survey over the northern Porcupine basin offshore western Ireland.

Acquired in 2014 this survey covered the company’s frontier exploration license (FEL) 1/14, 150 km (93 mi) offshore in around 500 m (1,640 ft) of water, and which lies south of FEL 2/04, containing the Spanish Point gas/condensate field (Providence 58%).

Cairn Energy subsidiary Capricorn Ireland, which operates both licenses, has completed initial interpretation of the base Cretaceous reflection within FEL 1/14 using the pre-stack time migrated 3D data.

Results have confirmed the presence of the north-south orientated Ruadhan prospect, which extends more than 36 sq km (13.9 sq mi) and which had been detected on previous 2D seismic reflection profile data.

However, the new data have led to more detailed imaging of pre-Cretaceous structure and stratigraphy, Providence said, confirming that the 1977 Shell-operated 35/13-1x well that targeted Ruadhan failed to reach the feature. The well had to be terminated in the overlying lower Cretaceous section due to operational issues.

Ruadhan is around 20 km (12.4 mi) south of the upper Jurassic Spanish Point gas/condensate field, discovered in 1981, where appraisal drilling is scheduled for 2017, subject to governmental approval.

Providence’s technical director John O’Sullivan said: “These new 3D data have confirmed the presence of a significant pre-Cretaceous structural closure in close proximity to the proven Upper Jurassic Spanish Point gas/condensate field.

“When taken in tandem with the previous studies carried out on our adjacent acreage, this latest interpretation supports the potential existence of an extensive and material Upper Jurassic gas condensate structural play fairway across the northeastern flank of the Porcupine basin.”


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