SERICA Energy said yesterday it had made the first new oil discovery west of Ireland in nearly 30 years.
It said the find was in the Bandon exploration well in the Slyne Basin, where the Ocean Guardian semi-submersible rig has been drilling since May 11.
The company said oil was encountered and a sidetrack was drilled to acquire additional data and samples.
Serica is a London and Toronto-listed oil and gas operator.
The company added that the volume of oil in place could not yet be estimated with certainty as considerable technical work remained to be done, but the results to date were encouraging.
It said that, using the data obtained, it would now carry out a re-mapping exercise using 3D seismic data to evaluate further the prospectivity of the licence as well as the potential of three remaining gas prospects in the licence.
Serica chief executive Paul Elis said: “Serica’s 230 square-mile licence area contains several prospects and we shall now be evaluating them as potential drilling targets.
“Although much more work needs to be done before the commercial potential of the discovery and the rest of the licence can be established, the Bandon oil discovery could mark the beginning of an exciting phase of Irish exploration.”
Serica is the licence operator with a 50% stake. The remaining 50% interest is held by RWE Dea.