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Irish rebound possible for oil, gas explorer Providence

Irish government setting groundwork for potential offshore oil and gas production.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Irish oil and gas explorer Providence gains momentum with offshore ambitions. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI
Irish oil and gas explorer Providence gains momentum with offshore ambitions. File Photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI

DUBLIN, Ireland, June 23 (UPI) -- After agreeing to a program aimed at raising capital, Irish oil and gas company Providence said it would examine frontier area oil and gas prospects.

Providence said it was offered a license in the frontier basins off the Irish coast in the Atlantic Ocean. John O'Sullivan, the company's technical director, said in a statement the option in the Porcupine basin offshore has displayed characteristics that so far demonstrate "the presence of an active petroleum system in this area."

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The Irish government offered 14 licensing options after wrapping up its 2015 auction for the Atlantic earlier this month. That built on the 28 options awarded during round one, which concluded in February.

Last year, junior explorer Europa Oil & Gas said preliminary data found prospective resources of 1.49 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Porcupine frontier license off the western Irish coast.

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Providence this week resumed trading following a two-month suspension on the Irish and British exchanges. As part of a restructuring plan, the company announced it agreed to the terms of a share placing meant to raise approximately $68.4 million, before expenses.

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The company two years ago started a survey of the Dromberg oil prospect in a basin located about 130 miles off the western coast of Ireland.

Four years ago, the government said offshore reserves produced 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas, but no oil. Ireland imports all of its oil and relies on foreign sources for 90 percent of its natural gas needs.

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There have been no new commercial oil or natural gas discoveries made off the Irish coast since 1996.

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