STAVANGER, Norway – Statoil has received six licensing options (LO) under Ireland’s 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round.
The company will operate four and partner in two others, operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore South).
Ireland’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) has published a map with grid locations for the LOs awarded in the round’s first phase.
The six awarded to Statoil cover a total area of roughly 7,700 sq km (2,973 sq mi) in the Porcupine basin offshore western Ireland in water depths ranging from 1,100-3,150 m (3,609-10,334 ft). Statoil and ExxonMobil each have 50% equity in all six.
Work commitments comprise 2D and 3D seismic surveys, to be acquired during 2016 and 2017. Results will determine whether the companies apply to convert the LOs to frontier exploration licenses (FEL), including exploration drilling.
Currently, Statoil’s main asset offshore Ireland is a 36.5% interest in the producing Shell-operated Corrib gas field off the country’s northwest coast.
Dublin-based Europa Oil & Gas secured LO 16/2 in the southern Porcupine basin. The acreage includes three new prospects mapped on 3D seismic acquired in 2013 by former partner Kosmos Energy, with gross mean unrisked prospective resources of 895 MMboe.
Europa sees analogies with the pre-rift play in the Flemish Pass basin across the Atlantic, offshore Newfoundland.
With this new option Europa now has a 100% interest in licenses that it claims hold 3 Bboe of prospective resources in the South Porcupine basin, including:
- 1.5 Bboe across three Cretaceous prospects on FEL 3/13
- 595 MMboe from four prospects on FEL 2/13.
The company plans further technical work on the new LO in order to mature prospects to drillable status and deliver a competent persons report later this year.
LO 16/2 will also be included as part of an on-going farm-out of the two FELs, with which it has technical and commercial synergies (Europa claims). Europa is keen to drill exploration wells on identified prospects.
Under Phase 1 of the licensing round, 14 LOs were offered to eight companies as operators – Eni, Europa, ExxonMobil, Nexen, Scotia, Statoil, and Woodside – with BP partnering with Eni.
The Irish energy ministry aims to announce a second phase of awards in mid-May.