Europa Oil & Gas is keen to fast-track technical work on the Inishkea prospects in leasing option 16/20 offshore Ireland with the operator looking to identify a target for an exploration well in 2020.

This activity is being taken with an eye to a possible fast-track development, Europa said, adding that gas infrastructure is located at the nearby Corrib Field, making a fast-track development project possible.

Leasing option 16/20 is located in the Slyne Basin. In the license, Europa has mapped Corrib North, Corrib Northwest, Bofin lead, Inishkea, Inishkea West and Inishkea Northwest on legacy 3-D seismic data acquired in 2002, which the operator bought from the Irish government.

Europa said it is looking to fast-track technical work on Inishkea with a plan to deliver a new prospect list in the first half of 2019. The company also plans to identify a firm drilling target for 2020 with the well already named as 18/19-A.

“The Triassic gas hydrocarbon play is well understood and proven to work both technically and commercially in the Slyne Basin by the Corrib gas field. Therefore, play risk is lower than in other Atlantic Ireland basins where play risk remains to be conclusively proven by a commercially successful exploration discovery,” Europa said.

“We believe 2.5 Tcf [70.8 Bcm] of undiscovered gas initially in place is likely to translate into commercially significant prospective resources. We understand that the recovery factor at the Corrib field is around 80%.”

Water depths in the license are between 400 m and 600 m (1,312 ft and 1,969 ft). Drilling does not require a harsh environment sixth-generation unit so Europa said it expects to drill the 2020 well for a reasonable price, adding that a cost estimate for exploration well 18/19-A and dry hole cost, including mobilization and demobilization is $28 million. This is based on an estimated rig rate of $120,000 per day.

Europa has started the technical work with DownUnder GeoSolutions to reprocess 3-D seismic data through a pre-stack depth migration process.

“The additional clarity this will provide should enable some of the prospects to be upgraded to drillable status during the first half of 2019,” Europa added.

More legacy 3-D seismic data over the Corrib Field will become available from the Irish government in May and December 2018. The new data are ocean-bottom cable 3-D seismic data acquired in 2012 and 2013. It will improve the definition of the Corrib Field and extend over the Corrib North gas discovery, which lies in leasing option 16/20.

The Inishkea prospect complex is less deeply buried than the Corrib Field, suggesting that Inishkea’s recovery factors should be at least as good as Corrib.

The company also is evaluating the 18/20-7 gas discovery well on the Corrib North prospect. Results from this work will be used with the new prestack depth migration mapping to make a prospect selection and drilling decision during the first quarter of 2019, the operator added.