Ireland's Oil Field At The End Of The Rainbow
Though Ireland lies near some of the world’s largest deposits of crude outside the Middle East, oil riches never seemed to figure in its destiny. Aside from some minor crude finds and a couple of large gas discoveries, companies plumbing the waters off the Emerald Isle have had little luck.
Now Ireland is drawing fresh interest after Providence Resources announced the discovery of more than a billion barrels of oil in the Barryroe field in the Celtic Sea, 45 miles south of the Irish coast in July. Providence Resources has spent a decade buying up licenses and now controls more of Ireland’s offshore acreage than any other company. “There was no one else competing for it,” says Chief Executive Officer Tony O’Reilly Jr. “It could be the new North Sea,” he says. (Providence is descended from a business founded by O’Reilly’s father, the former chairman of ketchup maker H.J. Heinz.