Providence Resources Plc, an Irish based oil and gas exploration company, holds a 100% interest in six offshore oil exploration blocks in the Rathlin Basin [P1885] and one onshore licence [PL5/10] on Rathlin Island, off the north eastern coast of Ireland.
Providence was awarded the six offshore blocks in 20122, in the UK Government’s 26th Seaward Licensing Round; and the onshore licence also in 2011 by Northern Ireland’s Department of enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Since these acquisitions, Providence has been carrying out evaluations of existing data and harvesting new data, in particular from Bell Geospace’s recently completed Full Tensor Gradiometry and magnetic airborne survey.
These exercises revealed anomalies – which suggest the possible presence of hydrocarbons – and analysis of the data has identified five large anomalies in the Providence acreage.
The company is now integrating data from various sources towards exploration drilling.
Another company, Rathlin Energy Ltd, has carried out an onshore deep exploration drill in an adjacent area of mainland Northern Ireland [Ballinlea - 1] and has reported that this brought up some good quality oil samples for analysis.
The point of this can be seen in the Providence map above. It is that, as reader Robert Wakeham has pointed out, the northern and eastern boundaries of the acreage of the blocks licensed to Providence may follow a line delineating the respective territorial areas of the Northern Irish Assembly and the Scottish Government.
If this is the case, what appears to be a healthy prospect of oil in this area might indicate similar reservoirs of off Islay and Kintyre, of interest to Scotland.
Providence say of their area in the Rathlin Basin: ‘Providence has identified conventional hydrocarbon prospectivity within the Lower Triassic Sherwood Sandstone Group reservoir interval, which is proven to exist in the basin and which is a prolific hydrocarbon productive reservoir in the nearby East Irish Sea Basin, offshore Liverpool.’
This geographical spread of this particular oil rich geological feature from the Irish sea off Liverpool to the Atlantic off Rathlin, may suggest that the areas off the south east and south of the Mull of Kintyre and south of the Mull of Oa on Islay would reward investigation.
Note: Providence is a serious player. In 2011, with partners, it began a multi-year drilling programme of around $5oo million targeted on a number of exploration and development wells in six different basins offshore Ireland – the largest drilling campaign yet carried out offshore Ireland.