A couple of very interesting data points the last few weeks--from an oil and gas region that most investors have written off as declining and decaying.
That's the U.K. Where key events on the horizon may transform the look of petroleum exploration and development. Potentially unlocking some intriguing upside.
First of all on the exploration front. With leads coming in a surprising virgin area within this generally well-developed terrain: the Porcupine Basin of offshore Ireland.
Junior partners Antrim Energy and Kosmos Energy announced this month that recently-acquired 3D seismic data here suggests unrisked potential of up to 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. A sizeable target, as compared to fields in the nearby North Sea operating area.
The Porcupine play has seen surprisingly little attention over the years. With only a handful of historic wells having tested the play. Leaving vast acreage still open to discovery.
Events elsewhere along the Atlantic margin, in places like West Africa, have particularly increased interest in the Irish waters. Importantly, Kosmos Energy was a key player in opening up that locale, with billion-barrel finds in places like Ghana.
And even in the mature fields of the North Sea proper, there is reason for investors to be paying attention. Because of the use of new technology to revitalize fields here, and unlock new production and reserves.
Technology like hydraulic fracturing. Which junior developer Sterling Resources said last month it will use in stimulating its Breagh gas field here.
Sterling has just commenced drilling of a series of shallow-water wells at Breagh--which are planned for possible frack stimulation following completion.
If this happens, it will be some of the first offshore fracking in this part of the world. Providing some important indications on the potential of this largely-onshore technology in enhancing output from mature offshore environments.
Both of these developments should be watched closely. They could set up a domino-chain of opportunities in a place where the price of entry is today relatively low.
Here's to the old being new again,