Shares in Exploration company Providence Resources jumped today after it said its Barryroe appraisal well has so far provided better than expected results.

The company said that the north Celtic Sea well, off the south coast of Ireland, was drilled to a final depth of 7,550 feet and confirmed that all sands encountered were logged as hydrocarbon bearing, with light oil having been confirmed.

Providence said that it had expected positive results from this well but not to the extent and quality of the reservoir encountered.

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“The confirmation of high quality light oil within a porous and potentially laterally extensive sandstone system is extremely encouraging,” John O’Sullivan, Providence’s technical director, said.

“These sands, which appear to have an intact overlying pressure seal, sit directly on a proven mature and oil prone source rock and therefore open the route to significant resource volumes within the Barryroe licence area,'' he added.

He said the company is looking forward to progressing the Barryroe project on foot of a successful outcome to its imminent well testing programme.

Providence holds an 80% interest in the licence and operates it on behalf of its partner Lansdowne Oil and Gas.