Shares in exploration company Providence Resources jumped in Dublin trade today after it said its licence for the Barryroe oil field has been extended by another year to July 2015.

The company also said that the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, has consented to a change of the operator from Providence to Exola Limited, which is 100% owned by Providence. 

Providence's chief executive Tony O'Reilly said the change in operatorship has been done to facilitate ongoing commercial talks in relation to the next phase of operations on the Barryroe field.

The exploration company also said it has signed a deal with Polarcus and Seabird Exploration for a 2,500km long offset 2D seismic reflection data in the Newgrange area, part of the 2011 Irish Atlantic Margin Licensing Round. 

Newgrange lies about 260km off the southwest coast of Ireland and the survey is due to start this month.

The company said the new survey will build on the 3D survey that is currently being carried out on its Drombeg prospect. 

"These new surveys, in tandem with our participation in the Dunquin North exploration well, demonstrate our commitment to the future exploration of the frontier southern Porcupine Basin where an oil-charged Cretaceous-aged carbonate petroleum system was recently confirmed by drilling," commented the company's technical director John O'Sullivan.

He said that the new seismic data will provide further clarity and definition as to the resource potential within the vast Newgrange structure, while it will also allow for future exploration well planning. 

"We believe that Providence’s continued investment in both prospect specific, as well as regional seismic data acquisition projects, within the Porcupine Basin during 2014 puts us in a leading position to evaluate the remaining exploration potential in the basin in advance of the upcoming licensing round," Mr O'Sullivan added.