Calgary-based Antrim Energy said today it expects exploration drilling to start on its Erne prospect in the central North Sea Greater Fyne area once the WilPhoenix rig completes operations with another operator west of Shetland.
Erne is 50% owned by Antrim, which is operator on the field.
Following Erne, the WilPhoenix, which is due to finish work with Hurricane Exploration imminently, will then move on to the 100% Antrim-owned Carra prospect.
Antrim also said it hopes drilling will start on the East Fyne prospect, in which Premier Oil is earning a 50% stake through funding drilling, in the fourth quarter of this year.
Antrim also said it has been offered frontier licences by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
It was offered blocks covering about 544 square miles in the Porcupine basin about 68 miles off the south-west coast of Ireland.
The licence gives Antrim two years to qualify the blocks for a full exploration licence.