Total Philippines takes over Sulu consortium
Total E&P Philippines BV is set to take over as the operator of a prospective oil and gas block off Sulu, after it acquired a 75-percent stake in the Service Contract 56 license from Malaysia-based Mitra Energy Ltd.
In a statement posted on its website, Mitra Energy said it had signed the farm-out agreement with Total last month, assigning the French firm the majority interest in the service contract.
Mitra Energy would retain a 25 percent interest in SC 56.
“With this new acquisition, Total continues to pursue its strategy to further expand its acreage in significant potential plays in new exploration areas, notably in deep offshore Asia Pacific,” Jean-Marie Guillermou, Total senior vice president Asia-Pacific, said in a separate statement.
Mitra Energy said it would initially conduct the seismic works, including the acquisition of 500 square kilomters of additional 3D data, after which it will turn over the operatorship to Total for the drilling operations. The new exploration phase for SC 56 began last September 1.
Both parties are awaiting approval of the farm-in agreement from the Department of Energy.
It was only in November last year that Mitra Energy gained 100 percent ownership of SC 56, after it acquired the 50-percent stake of Exxonmobil Exploration and Production Philippines B.V., and the 25-percent interest held by BHP Billiton Petroleum Pty Ltd.
The original consortium had spent $400 million for the drilling of the four exploration wells within the Sandakan Basin.