Commercially viable oil reserve found off coast of Ireland

Tom Bawden
Friday 16 March 2012 01:00 GMT

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Louise Thomas

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A commercially viable source of oil has been found off the coast of Ireland for the first time, raising hopes the struggling eurozone nation could finally become a producer.

In a development that could net the Irish government billions of pounds of much-needed tax revenue, Providence Resources announced yesterday that it had discovered a commercially viable oil well at the Barryroe licensing block, which is about 50km off the coast of Cork.

Test drilling by Providence suggested the field could yield more than 3,500 barrels of oil a day, almost double the 1,800 barrels needed to make the venture commercially viable.

Tony O'Reilly Jnr, Providence's chief executive, said its latest findings mean the company is likely to upgrade its estimate of the amount of recoverable oil in Barryroe from its existing level of 60m barrels.

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