Providence Resources announced that Ireland's Minister of State for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has given consent to advance the Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/14 towards the second phase. 

The Providence-operated FEL 2/14 licence is located in water depths of 2,250m in the southern Porcupine Basin, 220km from Ireland’s west coast.

Approval is subject to completion of the agreed work programme, which includes drilling of 53/6-A exploration well on the Paleocene Druid prospect and integrating well data for comprehensive analysis of petroleum potentiality of the licence.

Providence Resources chief executive Tony O’Reilly said: “We are pleased to have received this confirmation from the government on the licence progression as we continue to move forward with all the necessary works to enable the drilling of this high-impact exploration well during summer 2017.”

The licence is owned by the joint venture partners, Providence Resources (80%) and Sosina Exploration (20%). It hosts Paleocene ‘Druid’ and Lower Cretaceous ‘Drombeg’ exploration prospects.

Last November, the company entered a drilling contract for provision of Stena IceMAX drillship to be used to create an exploration well in FEL 2/14 this year.

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By GlobalData

The drilling contract provides for one firm well, plus an additional option, which is at the discretion of the JV partners for the drilling of a second follow-on well. 

The company is currently negotiating other key service contracts to start drilling operations at 53/6-A exploration well.

It expects to drill 53/6-A exploration well in June, subject to standard regulatory approvals.