Nautical Petroleum has identified a new gas exploration prospect, Martin, in an area covered by Licensing Option 10/01 in the North Celtic Sea Basin, offshore Ireland.

As part of the development feasibility review being undertaken by Nautical under the terms of its farm-in, the option and surrounding area were mapped using available seismic data, which found the new Marlin exploration prospect, located c. 10km North-West of the producing Kinsale Head gas field.

The company said that geological modeling of the Marlin prospect indicates that it is likely to be gas charged with a total resource of up to 74bcf.

This structure, which is the same age as the primary producing reservoirs in the Kinsale Head gas field, has been mapped to extend beyond the current option area.

Accordingly, the Baltimore partners applied to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to increase the area covered by the option by 16sq km to include the mapped extension of the Cretaceous Marlin prospect into open acreage.

Nautical said that this extension has now been awarded.

The license also contains the Baltimore heavy oil discovery in which Nautical has a 40% interest and Providence Resources is the operator.