Exploration company Providence Resources has said its UK subsidiary PR Singleton has been offered a frontier exploration licence over six blocks in the Rathlin Basin, off the coast of Northern Ireland.

This offer was made as part of the second tranche of awards under the UK’s 26th seaward oil and gas licensing round. Providence said the licence phase is for six years with a well required to be drilled within this term in order to move to the next phase.

Providence said it has committed to carry out technical studies on the area and will operate the licence with a 100% equity interest.

“Providence has a clear corporate focus to evaluate the main hydrocarbon basins off the island of Ireland, and this new offshore acreage complements our already substantial portfolio, where we now have licence interests in eight distinct basins”, commented the company's chief executive Tony O'Reilly.