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    Ireland's Providence Denies Merger Talks

Summary

The Irish press reported over the weekend that Providence had been approached by Norway's SpotOn Energy, set to become its partner at Barryroe.

by: Joe Murphy

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Ireland's Providence Denies Merger Talks

Irish junior Providence Resources has denied holding merger talks, following a report by Ireland's Business Post on February 7 claiming that the company had been approached by Norway's SpotOn Energy with an offer.

Providence and its partner Lansdowne Oil & Gas reached an agreement in December on farming out a 50% interest in the Barryroe oil and gas field off Ireland's south coast to SpotOn, in order to fund further project work.

"While Providence, like any public limited company, considers all opportunities to maximise shareholder value, we are not currently involved in any merger discussions with any party," Providence said in a statement on February 8. "We will continue to work closely with SpotOn Energy to deliver the necessary funding to develop the world class Barryroe asset."

Surveys approved

Providence and Lansdowne also announced on February 8 that Ireland's government had approved surveys at Barryroe. The seabed and shallow geophysical survey and the environment baseline and habitat assessment survey are needed before further work can take place at the Barryroe K site, the companies said. Further approval is needed before drilling can commence.

"With this approval now in place we can begin the detailed work required to complete the environmental and regulatory approvals for the appraisal and development of the Barryroe oil and gas field, working closely with Irish companies to progress the project," Providence CEO Alan Linn commented. "We will also be engaging regularly with the coastal communities on the South coast, keeping them fully involved with project progress."

Barryroe is primarily an oil project, but the field could also flow up to 120mn ft3/day of gas, Linn told NGW in August.