The Irish government has approved Europa Oil & Gas’ application to convert Licensing Option 16/20 in the Slyne basin in Atlantic Ireland to Frontier Exploration Licence 4/19 (FEL 4/19).

FEL 4/19, which includes the company’s Inishkea prospect, becomes Europa’s fourth FEL in the portfolio of six offshore Ireland licences that potentially hold gross mean un-risked prospective resources of 6.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent and 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas.

FEL 4/19 contains the Inishkea gas exploration prospect and the 18/20-7 Corrib North gas discovery. FEL 4/19 also holds the Corrib North structure containing the 18/20-7 gas discovery well which was drilled by Shell in 2010.

The Inishkea prospect lies immediately to the northwest of the Corrib gas field in the Corrib Field Petroleum Lease Area.

With a 15-year term commencing from 1 August 2019, FEL 4/19 includes a site survey in preparation to drill an exploration well, subject to funding and regulatory approval. An application submitted by Europa Oil & Gas to obtain a site survey on the Inishkea prospect is currently in process.

Europa Oil & Gas CEO Hugh Mackay said: “The conversion of LO 16/20 into a 15-year FEL is an important milestone for the company, as it allows our flagship Inishkea gas project to be drilled once funding and relevant regulatory permissions have been secured.

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“As previously announced, we have negotiated farm-in agreements in respect of FEL 4/19, FEL 1/17 and FEL 3/13 with the NW Europe division of a major oil company (the “Major”).”

The company is currently awaiting a final investment decision from the oil company’s head office.