PH checks viability of Isabela gas well
The state-run Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) will be able to determine the amount of natural gas reserves in an exploration well in Isabela by the end of the year.
“We declared discovery, the next phase is declaration of… whether [the area is] really commercially viable to produce the gas,” PNOC-EC president and chief executive Pedro A. Aquino Jr. told reporters.
He said they will also know by then if the company will need to drill another well to be able to exhaust the possible reserves in the area.
PNOC-EC managed to draw gas from the Mangosteen-1 well of Service Contract 37 (SC 37) in Santiago City, Isabela over the summer but further tests are needed to check if reserves are at commercial volumes. PNOC-EC is the upstream oil and gas subsidiary of the Philippine National Oil Co.
The gas flows detected by PNOC-EC only confirmed the presence of the resource, but not the viability of the area for commercial purposes. More simulation tests are needed.
The Cagayan Basin, where the service contract is located, is one of 16 sedimentary basins in the Philippines. It is said to have a potential unmapped resource of 1,938 billion cubic feet (BCF) of gas and 26 million barrels of oil.
Service Contract 52 is also found there. It is operated by Frontier Oil Corp., a private company that recently deferred plans of listing at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
SC 37 used to host the San Antonio Gas Field, which already saw full commercial operations. It opened on July 4, 1994 as the Philippines’ first commercial gas field and provided electricity through the San Antonio Gas Power Plant to more than 10,000 households in Isabela province.
However, the gas reserves were exhausted after 14 years and the gas power plant was shut down on July 31, 2008.
By that time, the operation had generated a total of 187,482.12 megawatt-hours of power and with total gas output of 3.54 BCF.
PNOC-EC began drilling the Mangosteen-1 well on March 21 this year.
The Mangosteen prospect has an estimated recoverable resource potential of about 71 BCF, which is significantly higher than that of the San Antonio gas field.