Providence Resources has been offered a new licensing option over a site adjacent to the Barryroe oil field, by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The exploration firm said the Licensing Option 12/4 is located to the north and west of the Barryroe oil field and covers an area of about 500 square kilometres off the southern Cork coast.
Providence said last month that the Barryroe oil field probably contains over a billion barrels of oil.
The company will operate the option on behalf of its partner, Lansdowne. It said that the main elements of the proposed work programme involve assessing the prospectivity of the Barryroe Basal Wealden sand play across the area.
"We are extremely pleased to have been offered this option over a substantial acreage position directly north and west of the currently defined Barryroe oil field,'' commented the company's chief executive Tony O'Reilly.
''Our work programme has been designed to assess the potential of any extensions of the Barryroe field into the option area, together with determining whether any further satellite accumulations may exist close to the fields that warrant investigation," he added.