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#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises of a previously uncharted rock outside the approaches to Dingle's Fishery Harbour Centre.

The rocky outcrop or shoal was identified by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) vessel RV Geo recently, and appears to be part of the shoreward extension of the Crow and Colleen-oge Rocks.

Full details of its depth and position are included in Marine Notice No 37 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

In other news, the Marine Institute is conducting a pipeline and platform superstructure (or 'jacket') survey in the Celtic Sea.

The survey, on behalf of Kinsale Energy Limited, was scheduled to commence last Monday 22 July and will continue till Friday 30 August.

Works are being conducted by the MV Granuaile (Call sign EIPT) which is carrying out underwater operations using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) making 0.4 to 0.7 knots over the ground. The vessel is listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give the MC Granuaile a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas. Full details of co-ordinates are included in Marine Notice No 36 of 2013.

Published in Marine Warning

#CelticSea - A British man's unorthodox attempt to cross the Celtic Sea from Dorset to Ireland has come to an end after he was rescued by the UK coastguard.

A RTÉ News reports, the man was discovered some 2.7 nautical miles south of Durdle Door on Dorset's Jurassic Coast in a 6ft inflatable dinghy.

He was found with two paddles - one being used with a plastic sheet as an improvised sail - plus a limited amount of food and drink, and no suitable communication or lifesaving gear.

Rescuers later brought the man back to shore where he was treated for severe sunburn.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#DeepKinsale - Fastnet Oil & Gas believes that its Deep Kinsale Prospect in the Celtic Sea could hold an incredible bounty of more than two billion barrels of oil.

As Proactive Investors reports, the Irish-headed oil exploration firm says an independent assessment of its prospect in the waters south of Cork estimates 2.365 billion barrels of oil in place.

Fastnet executed its exclusive option on the prospect earlier this year, and recently completed a 3D seismic survey of the area, the data from which will enable the company to identify oil reservoir 'sweet spots' for the best drilling results.

“Deep Kinsale is a large anticlinal structure, which has the potential to contain a significant oil accumulation directly beneath the producing Kinsale gas field and the two platforms, in the Celtic Sea,” said John Craven, founding Fastnet shareholder.

“This new 3D seismic is a key de-risking component necessary for the planning of an optimal drilling campaign."

The full operational update from Fastnet Oil & Gas is available HERE.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Fastnet Oil & Gas has been awarded a new licensing option elsewhere in the Celtic Sea in the area know as East Mizzen.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineNotice - The busy waters of the Celtic Sea will next month see yet another seismic survey.

Marine Notice No 23 of 2013 advises that Seabird Exploration, on behalf of Spectrum Geo Limited, is scheduled to carry out a 2D seismic survey over the Celtic Basin from the beginning of June till the end of July.

The seismic acquisition will be carried out by the vessel M/V Harrier Explorer (Call sign 3EIE3), which will be accompanied at all times by guard vessel M/V Nomad (Call sign EI5298).

The proposed survey consists of 3,570km of a 2D seismic survey over the Celtic Basin. The survey vessel will travel at 4-5 knots, towing a single solid 8km streamer located some 9 metres below the surface, with a turning diameter of approximately 5km required.

Both vessels will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project. All vessels, especially those engaged in fishing, are requested to give them a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas - the co-ordinates of which are outlined in the PDF available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#MarineNotice - CGG, on behalf of Fastnet Oil & Gas, is scheduled to carry out a full 3D seismic survey at Mizzen Basin in the Celtic Sea off the south-west coast beginning this month.

Details of this survey - as part of Fastnet's option on the Deep Kinsale Prospect - were previously reported on Afloat.ie but some details have been amended since.

The survey is expected to run for 35 days, subject to weather.

For full details - including co-ordinates of the work areas - see Marine Notice No 22 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#Oil&Gas - Fastnet Oil & Gas has been awarded a new licensing option in the North Celtic Sea off the Cork coast.

The East Mizzen option covers a number of blocks in the Mizzen Basin, plus the western end of the North Celtic Sea Option, covering a tittle area of 1,155 sq km and contiguous with the previously awarded Mizzen option.

The 18-month option requires the reprocessing of a minimum of 400km of existing 2D seismic data, which has indicated the presence of light oil in some areas.

Fastnet managing director Paul Griffiths commented: "We are delighted to have added to our inventory of material prospective structures in the Mizzen area ... This has allowed us to capitalise on the interest being shown by the industry in our farm-out process in this particularly under-explored, yet highly prospective, basin.

"It has also allowed us to maximise the value of our on-going 3D seismic acquisition by creating 'running room' for potential farminees that have identified the Mizzen Basin as a new emerging shallow water exploration province offshore Ireland."

Earlier this year, as reported on Afloat.ie, Fastnet executed its exclusive option agreement to farm into its nearby Deep Kinsale Prospect, with plans to drill the prospect in 2014.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineNotice - Further to the recent notice of a 2D seismic survey in the Atlantic waters of the Irish continental shelf, Marine Notice No 14 of 2013 advises mariners of two full 3D seismic surveys in the Celtic Sea off the south coast.

CGG will be conducting the surveys on behalf of Fastnet Oil & Gas as part of its option on the Deep Kinsale Prospect, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The works are expected to commence in later this month and are expected to last around 50 days, subject to weather, beginning with the Deep Kinsale survey followed by the Mizen survey.

The seismic vessel SR/V Vantage (Call sign LMHY3) is scheduled to carry out the work. The vessel will be towing 10 cables, each 6km long with 100m separation for a total width of 900m, at a depth of seven metres. The vessel will also tow two source arrays, each made of three subarrays, each with a width of 16m and at a depth of six metres.

The seismic vessel will be accompanied by support vessel M/V Oms Resolution (Call sign HP5135) and chase vessel M/V Stormbas II (Call sign V4EM2).

In addition, as part of the Deep Kinsale survey, a second 3D seismic vessel M/V Artemis Angler (Call sign LAGU7) will assist in an undershoot of the Kinsale Alpha and Bravo platforms. The two 3D seismic vessels will sail in parallel at the same speed, one on each side of the platforms using streamers. The undershoot aspect of the acquisition is expected to last two to three days.

The seismic vessels will be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre whilst carrying out the surveys and all other vessels are requested to give these operations a wide berth. All project vessels will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give the SR/V Vantage, the M/V Artemis Angler and their towed equipment a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Full details of co-ordinates of the survey areas are included in Marine Notice No 14 of 2013, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Warning

#Solo - Elaine Bunting writes on her Yachting World blog about this summer's Jester Baltimore Challenge, a spin-off of the solo transatlantic Jester Challenge for small boats.

The new event is much smaller in scale, with a route across the Celtic Sea from Plymouth (or Pwllheli in Wales) to Baltimore in West Cork starting on Sunday 16 June.

But that's intended with low cost of entry in mind - there are no fees to pay - to attract small boat sailors who've yet to test themselves in a solo challenge.

Yachting World has more on the story HERE.

Published in Solo Sailing

#Oil - Fastnet Oil & Gas has executed its exclusive option agreement to farm into its Deep Kinsale Prospect beneath the Kinsale Head Gas Field.

The option agreement with Petronas subsidiary Kinsale Energy is confined to geological formations below 4,000 feet subsea. Fastnet will conduct a 3D seismic survey over 500 sq km in the Celtic Sea prospect by the end of the year as well as complete necessary geological and engineering studies.

The agreement also gives Fastnet an exclusive option to test the geologically similar Purbecko-Wealden reservoirs productive in Barryroe, a prospect that has proven a bounty for Providence Resources.

Fastnet chair Cathal Friel said: "We are delighted to have added an exclusive option to farm into and potentially drill the Deep Kinsale Prospect in 2014.

"It represents an attractive addition to our Irish portfolio as we have long held a belief that Deep Kinsale offers the potential to yield up another significant hydrocarbon discovery offshore Ireland. This belief has been further strengthened by the successful appraisal of Barryroe in 2012, which is geologically analogous to Deep Kinsale.

"We greatly look forward to working in close cooperation with our colleagues at Kinsale Energy, as we collectively seek to de-risk the prospect for drilling."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Fastnet Oil & Gas announced in December its plans to spend more than €20 million on the Celtic Sea's biggest ever seismic study on blocks off the south coast which were drilled in the 1980s and later abandoned.

New techniques in the oil industry are now allowing previously unviable resources to be extracted, as fellow prospectors Petrel Resources are planning to do off the Kerry coast.

Published in Coastal Notes

#OIL - Fastnet Oil & Gas will spend more than €20 million on the Celtic Sea's biggest ever seismic study, the Irish Independent reports.

The company was recently awarded two blocks in the waters south of Ireland which were drilled in the 1980s and subsequently abandoned.

But new techniques in the oil industry are allowing previously unviable resources to be extracted - as Petrel Resources are planning to do off the Kerry coast, following the discovery of enormous oil reserves in the Porcupine Basin.

And the Celtic Sea in particular has already attracted attention after Providence Resources announced its discovery of oil reserves at its Barryroe prospect potentially worth billions of euros.

Fastnet Oil, chaired by Cathal Friel, is currently in discussions with major oil groups with a view to sharing the costs of the seismic survey.

Published in Coastal Notes
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