The Irish Government has approved the transfer of the 70% interest in Licensing Option 16/19 (LO 16/19) from Europa to Cairn Energy subsidiary Capricorn Ireland.
Cairn also now takes over the operatorship of LO 16/19, which spans 976 square kilometres on the Western flank of the South Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland.
Hugh Mackay, Europa chief executive, said: “With government approval for the farm-out of LO 16/19 to Cairn now in place, we are looking forward to the commencement of the fully funded 3D seismic survey in the summer of 2017.
“The farm-out of LO 16/19 demonstrates how we intend to fast track the exploration of our industry leading position offshore Ireland by securing suitable partners with whom we can take each of our licences forward.
“In line with this we continue to talk with a number of interested parties for our remaining licences and I look forward to providing further updates as and when it is appropriate to do so.”
It comes after Europa confirmed LO 16/19 will be part of a multi-client seismic exploration programme, the Crean 3D campaign to be run by TGS, which will span more than 5,400 square kilometres of Ireland’s Atlantic Margin.
Europa has previously identified the potential for several Cretaceous submarine fans
The seismic campaign is due to get underway in June, with processed data anticipated in 2018. Exploration work after that will be informed by mapping based on the processed data.
Europa has previously identified the potential for several Cretaceous submarine fans, with potential resources estimated between 300mln barrels and 1bn barrels.
Mackay highlighted Europa’s acreage position in Ireland’s Atlantic Margin, where LO 16/19 is one of seven licences.
“In all our licence position covers 5,818 sq km, six play types, three basins, and twenty prospects and leads which we estimate potentially hold gross mean unrisked resources of more than 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent and 1.5 TCF of gas,” he said.
“Our licences provide us with exposure to all the various play types being targeted in the region: Paleocene; Cretaceous Shelf; Cretaceous Fan; Syn-rift; Pre-rift; and Triassic gas.
“As a result, with drilling activity set to commence in the region in the near term, Europa is strategically placed to benefit from any success with the drillbit.”