TONY O’REILLY Jr expects drilling for oil off the Cork coast to begin in the third quarter of 2019, and said his company, Providence Resources, have a roadmap to take the Barryroe oil and gas field to the production stage.
Earlier this year, Providence signed a farm-out agreement with a Chinese consortium in which they agreed to fund 100% of the drilling costs for three wells at Barryroe.
Mr O’Reilly told the Evening Echo in July that Barryroe has the potential to become a billion-dollar enterprise, and he had hoped to begin drilling by the end of June. But An Taisce has objected to the Government granting a permit to Providence and the company acknowledge this will delay their plans.
“We were obviously very frustrated by the delay to the planned site survey,” Mr O’Reilly said. “With the permission being subject to a legal challenge and the vessel being delayed due to bad weather elsewhere, we felt that it was in the best interest for the overall programme not to act on the granted site-survey permission and re-apply, thereby avoiding any unnecessary costs and possible further delays associated with the judicial review proceedings.
“Whilst this rescheduling will delay the planned commencement of drilling at Barryroe, we believe that it does not materially impact the timing of the overall delivery of this significant drilling programme.”
Mr O’Reilly said successful drilling off Cork can help Ireland be less dependent on imported energy sources.
“The future development of Barryroe will, in tandem with existing production from Corrib, further facilitate national energy independence at a time of growing geopolitical risk within global energy markets,” he said.
“Importantly, the development of Barryroe will also reduce Ireland’s impact on global carbon emissions, through reduced importation of hydrocarbons.”