In an article published in the Irish Examiner today, Chief executive of Providence Alan Linn said that the company now aims to drill production wells straight away, rather than further appraising the field.
If everything would go to plan, Mr Linn is confident that production could start within 18 months, although regulatory approval and rig hire could significantly delay the development.
Providence has agreed a farm-out deal with Norwegian company SpotOn Energy and Schlumberger and hopes to formalise this by the end of October. SpotOn and Schlumberger will gain a 50% stake in the field, with the remaining half split between Providence and Lansdowne Oil and Gas.
The Barryroe field is situated in the North Celtic Sea. Oil and gas have been proven in a series of Lower Cretaceous Wealden sandstones in a broad anticlinal structure. Five wells were successfully drilled on Barryroe and all of these wells successfully logged hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs with three successfully flowing oil to surface.
According to Providence, the field holds an estimated 2C recoverable resources of over 300 million barrels of oil from the two main tested reservoir intervals. However, the oil is waxy and the reservoir is compartmentalised.
Earlier this year, the nearby Kinsale gas field ceased production, which left the Irish with only one producing field; Corrib. As production from this gas field is already in decline, there is a strong national debate around the question to further allow gas exploration, given the recent inclusion of a ban on gas exploration in the Government Programme.