Providence sees heavy oil potential at Ardmore gas field offshore Ireland

Source: Providence Resources

Providence Resources has completed a technical assessment of the heavy oil potential which underlies the Ardmore gas field. The Ardmore field is located in Standard Exploration License (SEL) 2/07 in the North Celtic Sea Basin and is situated some 60 kilometers off the south coast of Ireland in 90 meters water depth.

Providence holds a 72.5% operated interest in SEL 2/07 with partners Atlantic Petroleum (18.3%) and Sosina Exploration (9.2%). Providence manages its interest in the Ardmore field through its special purpose vehicle EXOLA Limited.

The Lower Cretaceous aged Ardmore field was discovered by Marathon Oil in 1974, and comprises a gas cap with an underlying heavy oil (16 degrees API) accumulation. Recent work in the area, which revealed the presence of potentially significant heavy oil resources at the nearby Baltimore discovery, prompted a re-evaluation of the deterministic resource potential within the Ardmore oil leg. This work, which is based on a recently acquired 2006 3D seismic survey, has now been completed and suggests an in-place resource potential of up to 230 MMBO.

"The positive results from our recent work on the Baltimore heavy oil discovery lead us to re-evaluate Ardmore in the context of its heavy oil potential,” said Tony O’Reilly, chief executive of Providence. “Whilst further work needs to be carried out, we are suitably encouraged by this review and as with our recently announced JV on Baltimore, we have agreed with the Ardmore partners to seek a heavy oil specialist to assess this discovery for potential future development."

The Ardmore field is to be managed by Exola Limited, Providence’s SPV established to focus on heavy and unconventional oil developments and opportunities offshore Ireland and the UK.

About Ardmore

The Ardmore discovery well (49/14-1) was drilled by Marathon Oil in 1974. The well encountered oil and gas at c. 2,500'-3,000' TVDSS in sands of Lower Cretaceous age which are similar to those producing at the nearby Kinsale Head field. Oil recovered during testing was a heavy crude (16.4 degrees API) with electric wireline logs indicating excellent reservoir potential.

Recent work by major operators such as Statoil is currently progressing similar heavy oil accumulations in the North Sea, most notably the Mariner and Bressay accumulations toward development. It is likely that standard heavy oil field technologies such as artificial lift, horizontal drilling and chemical injection will play key roles in any ultimate commercialization of the Baltimore oil resource.

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