PXP raises interest in WPS prospect
PXP Energy Corp. has shored up its interest in prospective natural gas resources at the West Philippine Sea (WPS), even as exploration activities remain disallowed with Manila and Beijing taking their time in drawing up potential cooperation in the disputed area.
The Manuel Pangilinan-led upstream petroleum company increased its direct shareholding in FEC Resources Inc. to 78.39 percent from 54.99 percent by acquiring $1 million worth of new ordinary shares in the Canadian firm.
In turn, this raises PXP’s total economic interest in Forum Energy Limited (FEL) to 77.66 percent from 76.07 percent.
PXP said in a regulatory filing the acquisition of additional shares in FEC did not result in a change in the board of either FEC or FEL.
The Alberta-based FEC is mainly an investment holding company whose principal asset is a 6.8-percent stake in the United Kingdom-registered oil and gas exploration firm FEL, which is focused on the Philippines.
FEL’s main asset is a 70-percent interest in Service Contract (SC) No. 72, which covers an 8,800-square-kilometer offshore area west of Palawan.
SC 72 has been under force majeure status declared by the Department of Energy (DOE)—exploration activities were stopped due to unforeseen circumstances—since December 2014 due to the maritime dispute with China.
Since potential cooperation with China was announced in 2018, PXP has asked the DOE for a lifting of the force majeure status of SC 72, but the moratorium remains in force.
Based on interpretation of previous surveys made at Recto Bank, a petroleum field called Sampaguita contains 2.5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.
Such volume is comparable to that of the Malampaya deposit.
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