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PNOC-EC needs more tests to determine commercial viability of Isabela natural gas field

MANILA, Philippines - PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) needs to conduct more tests at the Mangosteen-1 well in service contract (SC) 37 onshore the Cagayan Basin to determine commercial viability of the gas field prospect, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

The PNOC-EC recently conducted drill stem tests (DST) on the two zones of Mangosteen-1 well in Brgy. Balintocatoc, Santiago City, Isabela to ascertain if the zones of interest are capable of flowing gas in commercial quantity.

Results of the DST yielded gas but not in “commercial volumes due to the restricted flow of gas from the formation,” the DOE said.

“The gas that flowed out the Mangosteen-1 well at this time only confirmed the discovery of gas in the area, however, stimulation testing should be conducted to get more accurate estimate of the volume, optimal flow rate and other relevant reservoir properties and the commercial viability of the prospect,” it added.

Testing commenced after PNOC-EC, the oil and gas exploration arm of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co.,  spudded  drilling in Mangosteen-1 well last March 21.

The firm’s study showed the Mangosteen prospect has an estimated recoverable resource potential of about 71 billion cubic feet (BCF), which could complement the Malampaya gas-to-power project offshore Palawan.

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The life of the Malampaya gas field, which supplies more than half of the requirements of the Luzon grid, could last until 2030, based on the study of the consortium-operator namely Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (45 percent) Chevron Malampaya LLC (45 percent) and PNOC-EC (10 percent).

Mangosteen also has a higher resource potential compared with PNOC-EC’s San Antonio gas field, which is also located in Cagayan Basin and operated commercially from July 4, 1994 to July 31, 2008.

The shuttered gas field, the country’s first commercial production of natural gas, produced a total 3.54 BCF and generated a total of 187,482.12 MWh of electricity to more than 10,000 households in Isabela through the San Antonio gas power plant.

The Cagayan Basin is one of the 16 sedimentary basins in the Philippines, with a potential unmapped resource of 1,938 BCF of gas and 26 billion barrels (mmbbls) of oil based on the Philippine Petroleum Resource Assessment, Vol. 8.

Apart from SC 37, SC 52 operated by Frontier Oil Corp. is also located in the Cagayan Basin.

PNOC-EC is mandated to explore and develop energy resources in the country, undertaking various onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration activities across the country.

It holds interest in other SCs including SC 47 offshore Mindoro (97 percent); SC 59 West Balabac, Offshore Northwest Palawan (25 percent) and SC 63 East Sabina Offshore Northwest Palawan (50 percent), SC 57 Calamian offshore Northwest Palawan (28 percent), SC 58 West Calamian offshore Northwest Palawan (50 percent), and SC 75 Northwest Palawan (35 percent).

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