Europa Oil & Gas (LON:EOG) this morning told investors that the Kiernan prospect off Ireland’s west coast has the potential to contain 1.6bln barrels of oil.
It said that first pass seismic mapping of the prospect, which is found in the South Porcupine basin, has now been completed and this has provided positive results.
Kiernan is believed to comprise of stratigraphic - or stacked - traps in three reservoirs. These reservoirs have been termed as the ‘Barremian’, ‘Valanginian A’ and ‘Valanginian A’.
Collectively they have been estimated to host 1.612bln barrels of mean unrisked indicative resources. In a gas case the prospective resource equates to 10tln cubic feet.
Kiernan is one of two prospects identified last year within Europa’s wholly-owned licence options in the Irish Atlantic Margin. The other, Mullen, has been estimated at around 480mln barrels of oil.
The company is currently seeking farm-in partners to help advance technical work on the prospects and mature them up to ‘drillable’ status.
Industry interest has been growing in Ireland’s nascent offshore oil industry. The South Porcupine in particular will be a focus in 2013 as ExxonMobil and Providence Resources (LON:PVR) are currently preparing to drill the high profile Dunquin well.
Indeed, Europa believes the South Porcupine basin has the potential to become a new hydrocarbon province.
“We will now be opening a data room for both our Irish Licences, with a view to securing a joint venture partner or partners with whom we can further mature both Mullen and Kiernan,” said chief executive Hugh Mackay.
“We are not alone in believing the South Porcupine Basin could host a new hydrocarbon province and a carbonate prospect in the basin located just 65kms away from Kiernan will be tested by ExxonMobil's Dunquin well later this year.
He also says that the area covered by the licence options also have potential in other areas which warrant further investigation. In the meantime more work is required to de-risk the Kiernan prospect, and this is likely to involve 3D seismic.
With the two Irish prospects together estimated to have the potential for up to 2bln barrels of oil, Mackay says a success with either prospect would be transformative for Europa.
“This is an exciting time for Europa, as we look to advance our balanced portfolio of assets, which also includes onshore UK production and exploration as well as a large onshore France gas appraisal project, and in the process build substantial value for all our shareholders."