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Oil is discovered off the coast of Ireland

Dublin-based Providence Resources announced Thursday that oil has started to flow from its Barryroe rig.

oil rig in waterEnlarge
Ireland has struck oil in what may prove to be a multi-billion dollar discovery. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Financial Times has reported that Ireland has struck oil off the County Cork coast in what may prove to be a multi-billion dollar discovery.

Providence Resources, based in Dublin, announced on Thursday that oil from the Barryroe well had begun to flow after years of disuse.

According to Reuters, the Barryroe well is just one of a number of discoveries made in the 1970s and 1980s, yet went untapped because they were too small to be developed economically.

New technology, a sharp rise in oil prices and a discovery that the oilfield has a flow of 3,500 barrels a day, rather than earlier estimates of 1,800 barrels, has made it once again profitable.

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A recent audit of the area claimed that the well could contain nearly one billion barrels of oil, which, at today's prices, would be worth billions in new revenue for the cash-strapped island nation.

Chief Executive of Providence Resources, Tony O’Reilly, said the find was "a defining moment."

“It’s just like winning the lottery: you’ve got to buy tickets. So in the case of the oil and gas industry we need more wells,” he said, according to IOL News.

The company's stocks soared after Thursday's announcement.

The oilfield sits about 31 miles off the Cork coast.

According to the Guardian, the drilling at the Barryroe oilfield will increase pressure on the Irish government to allow for further oil exploration at five other sites.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/120316/oil-discovered-the-coast-ireland