Larne Basin, Northern Ireland – Petro River Oil
Open Nav

Larne Basin, Northern Ireland

Due to historical political and geological issues, which now have been resolved, the Larne Basin remains the only Carboniferous Basin in Europe essentially untested for hydrocarbons. Through long-standing industry contacts, Horizon Energy was offered the opportunity to participate on favorable terms in the exploration and development of the Larne Basin through the acquisition of working interests in two petroleum licenses (one onshore and one offshore) which together encompass approximately 130,00 acres, covering the vast majority of the prospective Larne Basin.

Petro River and Horizon Energy, through their wholly owned subsidiaries (Petro River UK Limited and Horizon Energy Partners Limited), are participating for 9% and 16% working interests in the Larne Basin licenses, respectively.

In 2011 and 2012, the current licensees acquired 400 kilometers of new, proprietary 2-D seismic data which indicated numerous potential hydrocarbon traps which had heretofore not been seen. In June, 2015, one of the current licensees drilled a test well to delineate a natural gas salt cavern storage project. The well encountered material natural gas shows in the Permian providing strong evidence for a viable source from the Carboniferous and an active petroleum system in the Larne Basin.

In 1971, Shell Oil drilled the only petroleum exploration well within the Basin. It was drilled off structure and failed to reach the Carboniferous, but encountered two high quality petroleum reservoirs, one in the Triassic and the other in the Permian. The Triassic reservoir (Sherwood) was also penetrated in the salt cavern well, mentioned above, and exhibited excellent reservoir characteristics. The combination of these events indicates the presence of all the elements necessary for a successful hydrocarbon discovery in the Larne Basin.

The Larne Basin has broad similarities to the nearby, highly prolific Carboniferous sourced East Irish Sea Basin to the southeast, which has produced over 220 million barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The initial well, the Woodburn Forest #1, is permitted and scheduled to commence drilling in late March, 2016. It will be drilled onshore to a depth of about 6,000 feet and will test the entire sequence of petroleum objectives, including the Carboniferous source. The cost of the well will be approximately $6 million. The well has prospective, un-risked, recoverable resources in excess of 30 million barrels of oil. Following the drilling of the initial well, 3-D seismic data will be acquired over select areas within the onshore license to more definitively image the numerous prospects and leads which have been identified and mapped with the current available geological and geophysical data. . The offshore license also has significant hydrocarbon potential which is currently being evaluated. The un-risked, potential recoverable resources for the entire Larne Basin are in excess of 1 billion barrels of oil.

The fiscal terms of the licenses are excellent and the political risk ranks near the lowest in the world; there is also good access to both infrastructure and favorable markets for both oil and natural gas.

Larne Basin, Northern Ireland at a Glance
Location Larne Basin, Northern Ireland
Size 130,000 acres
Working Interest 9% - Petro River / 16% - Horizon
Geophysics 400 km of modern 2D Seismic acquired in 2012
Work Completed 2D Seismic acquisition and interpretation
Historical Work None
2016 Activity Initial 6,000 ft onshore well spud in May