ExxonMobil has started drilling on the Dunquin prospect offshore the west coast of Ireland, partners in the licence said this morning.
Drilling operations are expected to take several months to complete using the Eirik Raude semi-submersible drilling unit, said Providence Resources.
Tony O’Reilly, chief executive of Providence said: “We are pleased to confirm that drilling operations on the Dunquin exploration well have now commenced.
"This is a landmark well given that it is the first to be drilled in the central part of the deep-water southern Porcupine Basin and is designed to test a new and potentially material Lower Cretaceous carbonate exploration play concept."
The 44/23-1 Dunquin exploration prospect is in Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 3/04, in 1.6km of water in the Porcupine Basin, 200km off the west coast of Ireland.
The licence area contains the Dunquin prospects South and North. The results of the drill programme will be eagerly awaited by the other players hoping to drill in the Porcupine basin.
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Ireland (Offshore) Limited (27.5% interest) operates FEL 3/04 on behalf of its partners, Eni Ireland B.V. (27.5% interest), Repsol Exploracion Irlanda, S.A. (25% interest), Providence Resources P.l.c. (16.0% interest) and Sosina Exploration Limited (4.0% interest).
Providence said for it the the 44/23-1 well is the second of six wells being drilled as part of Providence’s Irish concerted multi-basin, multi-well drilling programme which started in November 2011 with the Barryroe appraisal well.