By David Baker
There will be cause for more celebration than ever on St Patrick’s Day this weekend after a major oil find off the coast of Ireland.
It is the first time that a commercially viable offshore source of oil has been struck there and the discovery is being likened to ‘winning the lottery’.
Exploration company Providence Resources announced the find off the coast of Cork today.
The Barryroe well is more than 300ft deep and is producing 3,514 barrels of high-quality oil a day - twice the rate initially hoped for.
The well also produces 2.93 million standard cubic feet of gas each day.
The black gold discovery is a timely find for Ireland, which is facing the need for a second bailout to boost its ailing economy.
Tony O’Reilly, chief executive officer of Providence Resources, said the find was ‘a defining moment for the Irish offshore oil and gas industry’ and could spark huge investment in the country.
‘It’s just like with winning the lottery - you’ve got to buy tickets. So in the case of the oil and gas industry we need more wells,’ he said.
‘Ireland is massively under explored so hopefully this is a catalyst to actually get more investment in the Irish offshore.’
The coastal Basins surrounding Ireland have long been known to harbor valuable natural resources.
It’s estimated that they could produce 10 billion barrels of oil and an unquantifiable amount of gas.
In the past, exploration has been held back by a lack of technology and low oil prices.