Oil Potential Offshore Northern Ireland

During late January a report from Providence Resources revealed significant oil potential in the area in the Rathlin Basin offshore northern Ireland. Providence’s report was based on Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) and magnetic airborne survey carried out by Bell Geospace. Initial processing of these data revealed the presence of five FTG anomalies which were deemed prospective for hydrocarbon exploration.

2013.03.07 - Oil Potential Offshore Northern Ireland

The primary FTG anomaly, the “Polaris Prospect”, which lies in the Rathlin Sound just off the Northern Irish coast, is coincident with a significant structural feature imaged on vintage 2D seismic data. This prospect lies structurally on-trend with the onshore 2008 Ballinlea-1 well, which successfully recovered good quality oil to the surface during testing. Further processing of the newly acquired gravity data indicate that this Polaris feature is a large areally extensive structure covering c. 30 sq km. All of the elements of a working petroleum system in this frontier basin, such as source, reservoir and seal have been proven in adjacent nearby onshore wells.

An initial P50 volumetric estimate, based on gravity and offset well data, indicates an in-place prospective resource potential of c. 530 MMBO for the Polaris Prospect. Given its near-shore location, it is possible that the “Polaris Prospect” could be drilled from an onshore Northern Ireland location with high level potential surface well locations currently being evaluated.

2013.03.07 - Oil Potential Offshore Northern Ireland Figure 2

According to John O’Sullivan, Technical Director of Providence, the Rathlin Basin has always been considered prospective due to the presence of a rich oil prone source rock, however poor seismic imaging has historically rendered it difficult to determine the basin’s true hydrocarbon entrapment potential. Providence believes that through the application of new technologies such as Full Tensor Gradiometry a complete re-assessment of this frontier basin should be allowed.

Sources: RIGZONEProvidence Resources

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