10th June 2016
Petrel Resources plc
("Petrel" or "the Company")
Offshore Ireland Licences Accepted
Petrel Resources plc (AIM: PET), the AIM listed oil and gas exploration company, has formally accepted two new Licensing Options (the 'LOs') awarded in the Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, as part of phase 2 of the 2015 Atlantic Ireland licensing round. Petrel is the 100% Operator.
The licences have two year terms with agreed work programmes following which Petrel has the option to convert to Frontier Exploration Licences.
Licensing Option 16/24, in the North-Eastern Porcupine Basin, is a considerable grant of 664 sq. km encompassing the entirety of Blocks 26/26, and 35/01, as well as available parts of 26/27 and 35/02.
LO 16/24 is located in a strategic sector of the Porcupine Basin close to the known hydrocarbon discoveries of Burren (Lower Cretaceous), Spanish Point (Jurassic) and Connemara (Jurassic). There are few emerging exploration areas with so many potential plays as the Porcupine - an under-explored basin with up to 10km of sediment. The recent major discoveries in the Flemish Pass basin, offshore eastern Canada, have re-focussed industry attention on the Upper Jurassic, particularly in South Porcupine, while along the basin margins the exciting potential in the Lower Cretaceous, prolific in West Africa, also remains undrilled. LO 16/24 has potential for both Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous prospects.
Petrel's technical experts' interpretation of legacy traditional 2D seismic data indicated Lower Cretaceous 'pinch-out plays' in the southern section of the acreage, with the potential for up to 310 million barrels of oil equivalent gross mean un-risked indicative resources. Separate Apto-Albian plays in the northern section of the acreage awarded also have considerable potential, but need reprocessing and reinterpretation of the expanded seismic data set to give estimates with greater confidence.
Licensing Option 16/25 is in the Eastern Porcupine Basin, closer to shore, and encompasses 260 sq. km of the entirety of Block 45/27.
Block 45/27 lies within an embayment on the eastern margin of the Porcupine Basin. Sediment was fed into this area in Lower Cretaceous time from the Celtic Platform to the east, and particularly from the adjacent Túr Igneous Centre. The principal play, so far identified, is for up-dip pinch-out of Lower Cretaceous units against the basin margin. Interpretation of legacy 2D seismic data indicates potential for closure at these levels within the block. It is premature to estimate recoverable volumes but the strength of competing bids and companies operating on similar acreage nearby highlights the prospectivity of this part of the Porcupine. This area is covered by the 3D seismic programme acquired by Kosmos Energy in 2013.
Petrel has bid and agreed a work programme on each Licensing Option. This includes the purchase of additional seismic data (not already in Petrel's database), after which we will reprocess and re-interpret the enlarged dataset. Following the completion of this work programme, Petrel will have the option to apply to convert each LO into a full Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL).
David Horgan, Petrel Director, commented, "The resounding success of the 2015 Bid Round has transformed the Irish Atlantic, and especially the Porcupine Basin. When we first applied for acreage in 2011 it was a lonely path. Financial markets were sceptical and the industry unconvinced. We have persisted with our work on and evangelising of the Porcupine Basin."
"There were three discoveries in the Porcupine Basin in the period 1978-1981, of which the Spanish Point discovery is due to be re-drilled by Cairn. Recent technological advances, better understanding of geology and higher average oil and gas prices have opened up the Irish Atlantic. Previous oil price falls after 1986, and again after 1998, led to operator departures and a drying up of interest. But the oil price fall of 54% since mid-2014 has not diminished explorer interest. Instead, more and bigger companies are bidding larger work programmes. In the 2015 Bid Round, 43 applications were made by 17 companies but only 28 offers made. Less than half of the Porcupine Basin acreage applied for was offered".
"We plan to apply new techniques and lessons learnt elsewhere to the new ground, approaching innovative partners open to different ideas, and we hope to expand our Porcupine Basin presence in the future."
This release has been reviewed by Professor Dave Naylor, BSC Leeds (Hons), PhD TCD, former Assistant Director of the Irish Geological Survey, and Manager Petroleum interests of Northgate Exploration Ltd and Ennex International plc. Dr Naylor is a petroleum geologist with over 50 years' experience in petroleum exploration and one of the leading authorities on the Irish offshore. He has co-authored the definitive text Petroleum Geology of Ireland.
For further information please visit http://www.petrelresources.com/ or contact:
Petrel Resources Plc
David Horgan, Director +353 (0) 1 833 2833
Nominated Adviser and Broker
Northland Capital Partners Limited
Edward Hutton / Gerry Beaney +44 (0)203 861 6625
John Howes (Broking)
Blytheweigh +44 (0)20 7138 3204
Tim Blythe +44 (0) 7816 924 626
Camilla Horsfall +44 (0) 7871 841 793
Megan Ray +44 (0) 7515 857 619
Colm Heatley +353 (0) 1 661 4055
Alan Tyrrell +353 (0) 1 661 4055
This information is provided by RNS