Talk at the gallery – The North Celtic Sea Basin, a Resurgent Proven Hydrocarbon Province

GWL Cluster Meeting

Date: TBC; 6:00 for 6:30 pm at the RCA, Crown Lane, Conwy

“The North Celtic Sea Basin, a Resurgent Proven Hydrocarbon Province”

Speaker Overview:

Steve Boldy is C.E.O of Lansdowne Oil & Gas Limited, an exploration and production company focused on the Celtic Sea Offshore Ireland, which is listed on AIM in London.

After completing a B.Sc in geology at London University, he gained an M.Sc in sedimentology from Reading University and a Ph.D in geology from Trinity College Dublin.

Steve commenced working on the Irish Offshore in 1980 at the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Irish Department of Energy. He moved to Amerada Hess in London in 1984 and worked there for 19 years, primarily on NW Europe, but also on projects in South America, Africa and SE Asia.

In 2003 he returned to Ireland as Vice President Ireland for Ramco and he led the flotation of Lansdowne Oil & Gas in 2006. Lansdowne participated in the 48/24-10z Barryroe Field appraisal well, operated by Providence Resources that was completed in 2012 and tested at flow rates of close to 4,000 boepd. The Celtic Sea has seen a rejuvenation of activity, with increased licensing and the first acquisition of extensive 3D seismic surveys and this is expected to lead to further drilling.


Exploration in the shallow water North Celtic Sea Basin (NCSB) off the south coast of Ireland started in the early 1970’s and was quickly rewarded with the discovery of the Kinsale Head gas field by the third well drilled in the basin (48/25-2) in 1971. Gas in the Kinsale Head Field is contained in Lower Cretaceous reservoir sands and the field commenced production in 1978.

Exploration continued through the 1970’s primarily focused on inversion structures, similar to Kinsale Head and this led to the discovery of additional gas and deeper oil in the Seven Heads structure. The oil is waxy in nature, the product of Upper Jurassic lacustrine shales.

Once onstream the Kinsale Head Field fulfilled demand for gas in Ireland and in the 1980’s the exploration effort focused on searching for oil. Furthermore, spurred on by the success of Wytch Farm in Dorset, attention focused on earlier tilted fault block structures that had not been impacted to any great degree by the later effects of basin inversion in the Cenozoic. This led to the discovery of the Jurassic Helvick oil field with the drilling of the 49/9-2 well in 1983, the peak year for exploration in the NCSB with 7 wells drilled. The oil in the Helvick discovery is a low-wax, typical marine crude oil sourced from the Liassic shales.

Therefore, by the mid 1980’s three working petroleum systems had been established in the NCS, but exploration activity declined gradually through to the mid 1990’s when drilling ceased altogether for a number of years.

Since 2000 the basin has undergone a rejuvenation of activity with increased licensing, the first extensive acquisition of 3D seismic and a return to drilling.

The talk will review the history of activity, discuss the petroleum systems and discuss future potential and activity.

This entry was posted in Cluster Meetings. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.