Exploration company Providence Resources said that a full strategic review of the development potential of its Barryroe field has been initiated by the company's new board.

Providence's Barryroe project is the most advanced and appraised oil project offshore Ireland.

The field is located in shallow water just 50km from shore, far enough offshore not to be visible from land and close enough to access local services in Cork.

Providence said the review will prepare a robust case for the development of the field to optimise value for shareholders, while recognising the need for Irish energy security through the energy transition.

It said that after the ending of the farmout agreement with SpotOn Energy, the strategic review - which will include independently evaluated assessments of the field's development scenarios and their potential - is considered essential by the Board.

Providence today reported an operating loss of €1.065m for the six months to the end of June - little changed from the €1.063m reported the same time last year.

Profit before tax for the six month period came to €1.628m, compared to a loss of €9.247m for the first half of 2020.

The group said it had no debt as of June 30.

Providence Resources chief executive Alan Linn said it is widely recognised that gas will be an essential energy supply for decades to come, in order to underpin and complement the growth of renewable energy sources.

Mr Linn said that with the decline of the Corrib Gas Field within a five-year period, the company is focused on progressing its strategic plan for Barryroe as a matter of urgency.

"The successful development of Barryroe would secure an indigenous oil and gas supply for Ireland, without which 100% of Ireland's gas will be imported by 2031," he said.

"At a time when much of Europe is experiencing difficulties with energy supply, a coherent transition strategy is critical to avoid the prospect of energy blackouts becoming a common occurrence," the CEO added.