Irish offshore acreage over the deepwater Spanish Point South prospect is being subjected to a new data sweep by Dolphin Geophysical to firm up reservoirs previously tested by drilling.

Dolphin Geophysical’s MV Sanco Sword is carrying out the new 750 sq km (290 sq mile) 3-D survey over Frontier Exploration Licence 1/14, located 140 km (87.5 miles) offshore in water depths ranging from 300-650 m (984-2,132 ft) in the Northern Porcupine Basin.

License operator Cairn Energy, through its subsidiary Capricorn Ireland, has contracted Dolphin to carry out the survey which is targeting Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous reservoirs that previously tested gas condensate from the 35/8-2 Spanish Point exploration well, and oil from the 35/8-1 Burren discovery, in adjacent acreage further north.

Providence Resources, Chrysaor and Sosina Exploration are partners with Cairn Energy on the license.

John O’Sullivan, technical director of Providence, points out that this is third survey over Spanish Point since 2009. “When combined, these new data will allow for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the total hydrocarbon resource potential of this area, where previous wells have successfully tested both oil and gas.” He continued: “We believe that the key risk is reservoir quality, rather than hydrocarbon presence, and so we consider that modern high quality 3-D seismic imaging will be a significant tool in reservoir prediction.”

Providence quotes a figure of 350 MMboe as the best estimate of gross on-block unrisked prospective recoverable resources in the license. The Spanish Point discovery in FEL 2/04 is due to be drilled again next year.

Cairn elected not to drill a well this year on Spanish Point with the Blackford Dolphin semisubmersible rig due to extensive delays in the refurbishment of the unit, according to partner Providence. Instead the Spanish Point well was rescheduled for 2015 and the contract for the Blackford Dolphin was cancelled. Procurement is now underway to source a new rig to drill Spanish Point next year.