Europa Oil & Gas has almost doubled its prospective resource estimate in its FEL 3/13 licence in the Porcupine Basin offshore Ireland. The completion of pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) reprocessing of 3D seismic data originally acquired in 2013 has led to an estimated combined gross mean un-risked prospective resources on the licence of 2.9 bnboe, up from the 2016 estimate of just under 1.5 bnboe. The increased understanding of the Beckett, Shaw and Wilde prospects will provide a fuller picture to potential partners that Europa will be hoping to attract when it launches a farm out process for FEL 3/13 after providing similar updates on its other Porcupine licences, FEL 2/13 and FEL 1/17.
Europa is one of several independents with significant acreage in the Porcupine Basin (it holds seven licences, while Providence Resources and AzEire hold six and Cairn Energy has five). While drilling activity is yet to pick up following 2013’s Dunquin and last year’s Druid/Drombeg wells, positions have continued to consolidate across the basin, and this is likely to evolve further as understanding of the prospectivity increases. In 2016 majors ExxonMobil, Statoil, Nexen, Eni and BP all secured positions in the region, while 2017 saw a flurry of farm ins that included the entry of Total when it farmed in to Providence’s licences containing Druid/Drombeg and the Avalon prospect. Extensive 3D seismic surveys have been acquired by Woodside, ExxonMobil, Statoil and Nexen over the last two years. Meanwhile, in addition to Europa, independents have also been busy acquiring and reprocessing seismic to de-risk their portfolios. Providence acquired 1700km2 of 3D seismic across Dunquin South in 2017 and is planning a 2D survey over Newgrange in Q3 2018, while Cairn is focusing on processing 3D seismic across its LO 16/18 and LO 16/19 licences.
We expect that this level of activity will lead to increased interest and further potential activity in the near term. Drilling is currently scheduled to return to the basin in 2019, when Nexen will drill its Iolar prospect in LO 16/7 and Woodside plans to drill the Beaufort/Ventry gas prospect in FEL 5/13.