DUBLIN, Ireland, June 30 (UPI) -- Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources said Monday it started surveying operations off the Irish coast in the so-called Porcupine basin.
The company started a 3D seismic survey of the Dromberg oil prospect in a basin located about 130 miles off the western coast of Ireland.
Providence said in a statement the survey is one of the largest of its kind ever carried out in Irish waters.
Providence gave no estimate of the reserve potential. There have been no commercial oil or natural gas discoveries made off the Irish coast since 1996.
Ireland imports all of its oil and relies on foreign sources for 90 percent of its natural gas needs.
The Irish government has said it wants to erase the near 40-year drought of successful exploration in the waters off its coast.
A licensing round for exploration in all of the major Atlantic basins in its territory closes September 2015.