Statement Accompanying the Preliminary Results: Petrel is an oil explorer focused on offshore Ireland and offshore Ghana with legacy interests in Iraq.
After a fallow period there is renewed interest and activity in the Irish Atlantic – particularly the Porcupine Basin. For the first time in recent years a well will be drilled. It is scheduled for July 2017. The past year has seen a number of 3D seismic acquisition programmes including one by our joint venture partner, Woodside Energy of Australia.
The Irish Government in 2015 ran a very successful bid round for new licences. Some 46 were applied for by 17 companies. Petrel was awarded two licences covering 924 km2 in the Porcupine Basin.
Why has this happened at a time of relatively low oil prices? The boom preceding the crash of 2008 had resulted in massive cost increases in offshore exploration. Wells were costing up to $200 million each. Rig rates were millions of dollars a day. The economic crash and subsequent financial crisis in many overleveraged oil companies led to a shuddering halt. Atlantic Ireland is frontier exploration. Deep water, harsh conditions, few wells drilled with no commercial oil discovered. The subsequent two thirds oil price collapse exacerbated the gloom.