Ireland is struggling to recover from a collapse in its property market that caused a banking crisis and forced the government to seek an international bailout. The country has undergone five years of economic austerity while unemployment has soared to 14.8%, more than three times as high in 2007, when the boom turned to bust.
Production at Barryroe may reach a peak level of 100,000 barrels a day for each platform installed on the field, and it would be possible to build several platforms, depending on the level of investment, the company said.
Ireland consumed 142,000 barrels of oil a day in 2011, but produced none, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
Barryroe was last estimated to contain as much as 1.7 billion barrels, but there was no projection of how much of that could be recovered. The recovery rate announced Wednesday is better than many analysts had forecast.
The estimate of recoverable reserves from Barryroe was probably fairly accurate and Providence should be able to develop the field using well-established industry techniques, said Stuart Joyner, an analyst at Investec.
"It's not really challenging," Mr. Joyner said. "It's well within the industry envelope of knowledge."
Providence, a Dublin-listed company with a market capitalization of €564 million euros ($727 million), said it is seeking partners to help fund development costs estimated at around $15-$20 a barrel, or $4.2 billion-$5.6 billion for the entire field, according to a spokeswoman for the company.