Exploration company Providence Resources has said that it continues to progress its activities across its portfolio of assets in the Celtic Sea basins.

In an update, Providence said that despite the difficult operating environment, it looked forward to advancing the assets towards commercialisation.

The company said that the farm-out of its Barryroe field, in the North Celtic Sea Basin, remained its key focus and it continued to work towards achieving the final structure of a deal. 

"The most recent cost dynamics illustrate the higly competitive new cost environment for drilling," the company stated. 

It added that the latest cost estimated for the drilling of an appraisal well is about £16m.

On its Helvick oil discovery in the North Celtic Sea Basin, Providence said the two year lease undertaking granted by the Government with effect from March of this year will allow for the evaluation of low cost development options. 

A two year lease was also granted by the Government for the Dunmore oil discovery in the North Celtic Sea Basin. 

"Whilst Helvick and Dunmore are relatively small oil accumulations, the work completed to date has illustrated that the fields could be commercially developed due to both the highly productive nature of the main reservoir intervals as well as the current low development CAPEX," commented Providence's chief executive Tony O'Reilly. 

Mr O'Reilly also said the launch of the Silverback farm out process follows on from sub-surface work carried out by Providence over the past 12 months.