Europa Oil & Gas Holdings Plc (LON:EOG) has given investors insight into newly added acreage, offshore Ireland, which is sees as a lower risk opportunity.
In the recent offshore licensing round Europa secured Licensing Options 16/20 and 16/21 which are located in the vicinity of Ireland’s landmark Corrib gas field.
The exploration acreage spans nearly 2,000 square kilometres of the Greater Corrib area of the Slyne basin, off the coast of county Mayo, and as such it is near existing infrastructure and is in shallower water that other areas auctioned off by the Irish government this year.
Europa sees potential for some 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas in the area, following its initial assessment, and like its other Irish acreage the company plans to bring in a partner to help take the venture forward.
The next phase of work is expected to see the reprocessing of historic 3D seismic data.
Hugh Mackay, Europa chief executive, told investors that it is hoped data reprocessing could sufficiently de-risk exploration targets to the point that they can be deemed ‘drillable’.
“Not everything offshore west Ireland is high risk, deepwater, frontier exploration. LOs 16/20 and 16/21 are in the greater Corrib area of the Slyne Basin and represent exploration in a proven play, in the vicinity of a gas field that is newly on production and with substantial gas infrastructure already in place,” he said.
“Clearly we are at a very early stage in the exploration cycle, however, equally clearly we have a well defined work programme to de-risk the play.”
The Shell operated Corrib gas field reached a long awaited milestone with the start of production earlier this year. It followed many years of delays relating to the development of export infrastructure from the offshore location.
Corrib comprises 6 wells tied to pipelines into a facility onshore at Bellanaboy Bridge.
The Corrib field is thought to contain about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.
Across the nearby LO 16/20 and LO 16/21 Europa sees potential for a total of 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with 1TCF of prospective resources seen in 16/20 and 0.5TCF of indicative resources estimated for 16/21. The exploration area comprises water depths from 300 metres to 2,000 metres.
Today’s update further bolsters Europa’s portfolio of potentially significant exploration ventures in Irish waters.
As Mackay highlights, the company now sees potential for some 4bn barrels of oil equivalent and 1.5TCF of gas across seven licence areas offshore Ireland.
“We feel there is an excellent balance between these two LOs and our four licences in the South Porcupine Basin and our Padraig Basin licence,” he added.