Philex-led group wins Palawan oil contract

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10:54 PM February 15th, 2013

By: Amy R. Remo, February 15th, 2013 10:54 PM

A consortium composed of Philex Petroleum Corp., PNOC Exploration Corp. and PetroEnergy Resources Corp. has bagged the contract to explore and develop prospective oil and gas blocks off Northwest Palawan.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, Philex Petroleum said it had received a letter from the Department of Energy stating that their bid group “won the bidding for Area 4 in the Northwest Palawan Basin that was offered in the fourth Philippine Energy Contracting Round for Petroleum.”

Energy Undersecretary Ramon Allan V. Oca clarified, however, that while the notice had been sent to the group, the actual service contract was still being prepared.

Area 4 covers some 616,000 hectares off Northwest Palawan, which is reportedly one of the most prolific basins in the country. The area is estimated to contain 1.2 billion barrels of oil and 15.737 trillion cubic feet of gas.

On Monday, the DOE announced that it had endorsed to Malacañang the awarding of service contracts to five investor groups, which included the group of Philex Petroleum.

Other companies to be awarded petroleum service contracts include Australian firm Planet Gas for Area 1 (Cagayan); Pitkin Petroleum and Philodrill Corp. for Area 5 (Northwest Palawan); NorAsian Energy Philippines Inc., the local unit of Australian firm Otto Energy Ltd., for Area 7 (Mindoro Cuyo), and Australian firm Loyz Oil for Area 14 (East Palawan).

Investments in these service contracts will vary depending on the extent of petroleum seismic studies, which may cost at least $5 million, and exploration well drilling, which could reach up to $100 million per well.

Data from the DOE show that the Philippines has a potential resource of 8.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent; 3.27 billion barrels of oil; 28.5 trillion cubic feet of gas and 164 million barrels of condensate.

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