ExxonMobil has declared the intention to drill the giant Dunquin gas prospect south-west of Ireland next year, kicking off drilling operations during the second quarter.
The prize is thought to be enormous with in-place reserves estimates running as high as 25trillion cu.ft of gas plus several hundred million barrels of condensate (a super-light volatile oil). The current estimate is around 15TCF and 500million barrels.
This would still rank it as a giant and a commercial discovery could lead to the energy map for Europe being redrawn. Ireland’s current economic problems could also be rapidly eliminated.
FEL3/04 (the Dunquin licence) encompasses five blocks (44/18, 44/23, 44/24, 44/29, and 44/30) in the South Porcupine Basin, 200km off the south-west coast where the water depth is more than 1,500m.
In July 2010, a site survey was completed on the Dunquin North Prospect to assess the site for the drilling of an exploration well.
According to Providence Resources, one of ExxonMobil’s partners in the concession and the primary promoter of Dunquin for many years, the 2012 budget allows for well design activities and procurement of long lead items as part of the ramp up to the first well being spud.