, an exploration and production company focused in the UK and Ireland, announced on Wednesday that it had been granted a 15-year frontier exploration licence by the Irish Government in the Slyne Basin, offshore Ireland.
The area contains Europa’s flagship Inishkea prospect, a near field gas exploration project which lies immediately to the north west of the producing Corrib gas field in the Corrib Field Petroleum Lease Area.
The 15-year licence, FEL 4/19, marks the fourth FEL for Europa in its portfolio of six offshore Irish licences, together holding a potential gross mean unrisked resources of 6.4 billion barrels oil equivalent.
Europa's CEO, Hugh Mackay acknowledged the licence as an “important milestone” for the company in that it creates a clear pathway to commence drilling at the Inishkea project once funding and permissions have been secured appropriately.
Mr Mackay explained: “With a one in three chance of holding gross mean unrisked prospective resources of 1.5tcf of gas, close proximity to the producing Corrib field, and the potential availability of spare capacity in the gas infrastructure, Inishkea represents a low risk opportunity to generate high exploration reward.”
Shares in EOG perked almost 8% after this morning’s announcement.
The next steps for the licence include a site survey in preparation for drilling an exploration well, subject to funding and regulatory consent. Additionally, an application to obtain a site survey on the Inishkea prospect is currently in process, the company explained.
Mr Mackay further explained how the company had previously negotiated farm-in agreements in respect of FEL 4/19, FEL 1/17 and FEL 3/13 with the north-western Europe division of a major oil company.
Whilst the company awaits a final decision, they have taken the time to market the licences to other potential partners, resulting in other major oil companies expressing an interest in farming in to FEL 4/19.
“We are focused on being in a position to drill Inishkea at the earliest opportunity and farmout discussions are ongoing with a number of parties, including the Major,” Mr Mackay stated.
Mr Mackay further added, “Together with the upcoming formal award of an offshore exploration permit on the Atlantic Margin of Morocco and positive news regarding the Wressle development, this is an exciting period for Europa and I look forward to providing further updates on our progress.”
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