Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) Plc (LON:EOG) has identified a further four new exploration prospects in Ireland’s Atlantic exploration frontier.
The explorer says an investigation of the ‘deeper prospectivity’ in Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/13 has unearthed new targets, and it sees four of them – tagged by Europa as ‘Kilroy’, ‘Keane’, ‘Kiely’ and ‘Lead F’ - as being significant.
Two of the four, Kilroy and Keane, are seen to be larger than 200mln barrels which would be the minimum threshold for a standalone project in the Atlantic Margin, according to Europa.
The company already has a catalogue of exploration targets in FEL 2/13 with prospects – Doyle A, Doyle B, Doyle C, and Heaney - previously estimated to have almost 600mln barrels of potential resources. Heaney has since been knocked off the list in the latest study.
Altogether, Europa now estimates the FEL 2/13 has potential for 1.12bn barrels of oil.
Further technical work, including reprocessing of existing 3D seismic data, will be needed to upgrade the prospects to ‘drillable’ status, Europa explained.
“Our 3D seismic data continues to be a very powerful tool with which to understand the geology, structure and petroleum systems in the South Porcupine basin,” said Hugh Mackay, Europa chief executive.
“Whilst we entered the basin in 2011 inspired by the Cretaceous fan play our understanding continues to evolve and in addition to the Cretaceous we have identified new plays in the Cretaceous shelf and slope, syn-rift, post-rift and Triassic.
He added: “Given that we are at a very early stage in a large and underexplored basin, we believe it is beneficial to have exposure to a diversified portfolio of play types, hopefully all or some of them will prove successful.”
Talks continue with potential new partners
Europa told investors that it continues to talk with potential partners for FEL 2/13, as well as its other Irish exploration projects.
FEL 2/13 is one of Europa’s seven assets offshore Ireland, which are now seen to have in excess of 4bn barrels of potential resources.
Farm-out partnership deals remain central to the explorer’s strategy, and just this week the company confirmed a significant milestone with the completion of a recently announced tie-up with Cairn Energy - which has now taken 70% of LO 16/19, by pledging to spend US$27mln on a seismic exploration programme that’s due to take place this summer.
Significantly, exploration activity is about to step up in the exploration frontier and Europa expects upcoming programmes will provide catalysts.
“Atlantic Ireland is about to enter a drilling phase, which we believe may be sustained over several years,” Mackay said.
“Our objective is to deliver six drill ready prospects with which to trail blaze or fast follow to success. All our drill ready prospects will be potential company makers.”