Providence's improving fortunes

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Providence resources announced yesterday that the Irish portion of the Anglo-Irish offshore Dragon discovery could yield nine times as much gas as previously estimated.

Previously, Providence estimated the discovery, which straddles the "median line" separating British and Irish waters in the Irish Sea, contained about 100 billion cubic feet of gas. It estimated about 25bn cubic feet of this was within Dragon's Irish territory, for which the group is the sole operator. The remaining 75bn cubic feet was thought to be in the British side, in which Providence does not have a licence to operate, although it has applied for one.

After further analysis, Providence revised its estimate of "gas in place" to 300bn cubic feet. It now believes three quarters lies on the Irish side.