Oil & Gas in the offshore: Has Ireland’s ship finally come in?

The prospects for further major finds of oil and gas in the Irish offshore are good [Credit: Providence Resources]
News that a commercially viable oil field has been found off the southwest coast of Ireland made headlines at home and abroad at the end of July and begged the question; how much oil and gas can be exploited in the large Irish offshore?

The potential of the Ballyroe field ( see image on the right) licensed to Providence Resources had been known about for years, but what was significant about the recent news was that the company said the find was far larger than had been previously thought.

The difficult, deep waters off the Irish coast are not the easiest places to search for oil, but with oil prices surging, and a lack of major new finds worldwide, it seems that Ireland’s oil and gas ‘ship’ might finally have come in.

Unlike in times past, exploration companies have the technology and the motivation to exploit Irish hydrocarbon reserves. So, what might they find? We asked Dr Andrew Wheeler, Head of Geology at University College Cork.

LISTEN: Interview with Dr Andrew Wheeler

Broadcast on 09.08.2012 on Science Spinning on 103.2 Dublin City FM