Irish Oil Basins May Sustain Local Demand

Ireland may be importing all of its oil requirements at the moment, but with six oil basins lined up for exploration and development, the country may soon wean itself from foreign oil dependence by at least 70 percent.

This positive news was disclosed by Tony O’Reilly, Providence Resources CEO. He said that the country could become a significant oil and gas producer and that Providence aims to make this a reality through major investments in oil exploration in the country. Eventually, he hopes to see a revitalized oil and gas industry for Ireland.

In the days ahead, Providence and its partners will explore another well located in the southern part of the country. Eni, Exxon, Repsol, and Providence have teamed up for this project.

The company expects to extract about one-third of the estimated barrels of oil believed to be locked in basins at County Cork. Roughly, that would be around 350 million oil barrels, O’Reilly said. This volume merely comes from one out of the six basins that they will be tapping.

Further, while this volume may not be huge in the eyes of a major oil producer like the U.S., it is a breakthrough for a country like Ireland where the population is a roughly 6.3 million. By comparison, the U.S. Bakken formation is believed to carry a hefty 18 billion barrels of crude oil.

At present, the country relies exclusively on imported oil, and oil demand is placed at 140,000 bpd. If the Cork basin could indeed supply a calculated volume of 100,000 bpd, a big chunk of Ireland’s consumption can be sustained by locally sourced oil. Now, 40,000 bpd of oil imports, from a previous 140,000 bpd, is definitely a substantial cut if Providence’s targets are indeed realized.

These are welcome scenarios for Ireland, which was beset with financial woes along with its European neighbors. With its oil-rich basins ready to be tapped and the presence of oil majors collaborating to invest in oil exploration in the area, Ireland’s road to recovery may not be too far ahead.

By: Chris Termeer

Chris Termeer

Chris Termeer is an oil and gas consultant, industry commentator and analyst. His book, Fundamentals of Investing in Oil and Gas provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, drilling, production, storage, transportation and refining, to name but a few.

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