ExxonMobil is looking for farm-in partners to its multi-trillion cu ft of natural gas potential Dunquin blocks in the Porcupine Basin.
The company is also planning to file application with the Irish authorities to become operator. The US energy giant holds an 80% interest in the acreage, with Providence Resources and Sosina Exploration holding equity interests of 16% and 4%, respectively.
There are at least two main prospects at Dunquin – North and South – on Irish licence 3/04.
Both are “technically mature and ready to be drilled”. The initial well, located in a water depth of about 1,700m, will target the crestal part of one of the mapped structures. However, no site operations have been carried out to date.
ExxonMobil took equity in apparently highly prospective Dunquin in February, 2006, via a farm-in agreement with Providence.
Dunquin covers a huge area, spreading across blocks 44/18, 44/23, 44/24, 44/29 and 44/30.
The Dunquin South and Dunquin North prospects cover areas of 48sq km and 75sq km, respectively, and both exhibit a minimum of 400m of mapped structural closure.
The prospects have been technically matured using a grid of 2D seismic data, including a 2006 proprietary survey and a reprocessed 1999 survey.
Both prospects are expected to be gas/condensate-bearing. If confirmed, the condensates dimension could prove of immense strategic value, perhaps even making the difference in terms of the viability of any hydrocarbon discoveries that might be made.
ExxonMobil estimates that the Dunquin South prospect has an unrisked mean recoverable volume of 4.4trillion cu ft of natural gas and 160million barrels of condensate and the Dunquin North prospect 4.0TCF and 156million barrels.
The corresponding estimated P10 volumes are 9.5trillion cu ft of natural gas and 340million barrels condensate (Dunquin South) and 8.6TCF and 322million barrels (Dunquin North).
The Dunquin prospects are predicted to be isolated carbonate platforms of Early Cretaceous age. These carbonate platforms are interpreted to have formed on top of a NW-SE trending ridge that is likely to be volcanic in origin.
Licence 3/04 is classed as frontier exploration and was awarded to Providence and Sosina in the 2004 Irish licensing round. The licence has a 16-year term and expires on November 14, 2020.
There are no material remaining commitments under this licence. However, it is pointed out by ExxonMobil that, in order to maintain the licence into the second phase (starting November 15, 2008) the licensees must propose the drilling of an exploration well by August 14.