AIM-listed Fastnet Oil & Gas has signed a contract for the acquisition of 1,710 km sq of 3D seismic, the largest even programme of its type in the Celtic Sea.
Following the contract award, which has a value of up to $18m, the company has initiaed the farm-out process over the assets, and said the first expressions of interest have been received.
Paul Griffiths, the Managing Director of Fastnet, said: "This is the first large-scale 3D seismic programme to be acquired in this part of offshore Ireland. Whilst we are targeting proven hydrocarbon systems around the Kinsale and Barryroe fields, we are also evaluating a prospective part of the Celtic Sea Basin covering approximately 4,250 km sq that has seen only one well drilled in 1975 by Esso, which encountered oil shows. 3D seismic is the first step to creating material, "drill ready" prospects.
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"Even at this very early stage in the farm-out process we are very encouraged by the level of interest being shown by a broad spectrum of companies and, despite our cash position of around $35m, it is our intention that any partner would pay an appropriate proportion of the costs of this large seismic survey."
The programme, which is due to begin in mid-April, is likely to last for approximately 50 days, depending on weather and standby time.
510 km sq of 3D seismic will first be acquired over the Deep Kinsale Prospect beneath the producing Kinsale Head gas field. Seismic operations will include an undershoot of the Kinsale Alpha and Bravo platforms, which are protected by a 500m safety exclusion zone.
This will require, under the existing seismic contract, mobilising a second 3D seismic vessel for a short period of time during the acquisition of the data by the SR/V Vantage vessel. The geological target will be the same reservoir section that has been successfully tested at Barryroe by the 48/24-10z appraisal well.
1,200 sq km of 3D seismic will then be acquired over licensing option 12/3 (Mizzen) and adjoining areas.
The share price rose 1.46% to 26p in opening trade.
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