Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources has started a farm-out process to divest up to 32% of its interest in the Spanish Point area, which includes Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/04 and 4/08.

In the Spanish Point area, Providence holds a 58% equity interest and Capricorn Ireland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn Energy holds 38%, with Sosina Exploration holding the remaining 4%.

This divestment will leave Providence with a 26% interest in the site, which is located off the west coast of Ireland.

The area contains the upper Jurassic Spanish Point gas condensate field, and Lower Cretaceous Burren oil discovery, as well as many other identified leads and prospects.

"The proposed drilling programme is being managed by established Operator Cairn Energy and is expected to take advantage of the recent fall in global offshore drilling and service costs.

Providence technical director John O’Sullivan said: "Following the recent closure of the 2015 Irish Atlantic margin bidding round, which attracted record industry interest, this divestment process represents an excellent opportunity for a third-party to acquire a material, non-operated equity stake in a large Irish offshore project with near term appraisal drilling, combined with further appraisal and exploration upside.

"The proposed drilling programme is being managed by established Operator Cairn Energy and is expected to take advantage of the recent fall in global offshore drilling and service costs."

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By GlobalData

As well as hosting a material drill-ready appraisal opportunity, the licences also enjoy the advantages of modern 3D PreSDM seismic coverage together with a base corporation tax rate of 25%.

Discovered in 1981 by the Phillips Petroleum, the Spanish Point gas condensate field has operated 35/8-2 well, which encountered a series of stacked over-pressured upper Jurassic reservoirs located in a large rotated fault block structure.

Subject to governmental approval, the Spanish Point appraisal well programme is now being planned to start operations for drilling during 2017.