More action offshore Ireland
The hunt for Irish oil continues, with three junior oil explorers outlining huge new targets at their prospective licences offshore Ireland.
(PET), formed in the last big Irish oil rush during the early 1980s, returned to the area in 2011 and has since carried out detailed seismic analysis of its licences in the Irish Atlantic Margin. The work culminated this week in the delineation of a target called Quad 35, which has 1bn barrel potential, comprising a number of vertically stacked reservoir targets that can be tested with one well. Shares of Petrel soared 362 per cent on the day of the announcement, from 6.4p to 30p, although they have since levelled off at 20.5p.
(PVR), the big boy in Irish waters in terms of junior exploration companies, released a similar announcement on the same day as Petrel, although its shares added just 1 per cent. Investors are instead focused mainly on the company's exciting 2013 drill program, which kicks off in the first quarter. Nevertheless, Providence has outlined yet another huge target in the Porcupine Basin of the Irish Atlantic Margin, this time at its Drombeg licence. Based on a 2D seismic anomaly, Providence says the prospect could contain as much as 2.97bn barrels of oil in place.
Lastly, Fastnet Oil & Gas (FAST), run by high-profile ex-Cove Energy executives, announced it is optioning an 82.35 per cent interest in the Shanagarry licence east of Providence's Barryroe oil field. The company did not release estimates of potential prospect sizes but said a well drilled there by Marathon Oil in 1984 found a combined 500-foot gross oil and gas column.
We decided to book profits on our long-term successful buy tip Providence earlier this summer, but will look to re-enter the stock over the coming months. We last profiled Petrel as a stock to watch in our special on Irish oil on 19 October, and now rate both it and Fastnet as speculative buys.
By Matthew Allan,
15 November 2012