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PNOC-EC moves forward on Isabela gas prospect

MANILA, Philippines - PNOC Exploration Corp., the oil and gas exploration arm of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., would be able to determine the viability of the Isabela gas field for commercial gas production before the year ends.

The state-owned firm has asked for a six-month period to make an appraisal of the Mangosteen-1 well in Service Contract (SC) 37 onshore the Cagayan Basin, PNOC-EC president Pedro Aquino Jr. said on the sidelines of the Senate hearing on the budget of the Department of Energy and its line agencies yesterday.

“We declared discovery, the next phase is declaration of commerciality, whether its really commercially viable to produce the gas,” he said.

Last July, PNOC-EC conducted drill stem tests (DST) on the two zones of Mangosteen-1 well in Bgy. Balintocatoc, Santiago City, Isabela which resulted in gas discovery although not in commercial volume.

The company said it will conduct more tests to determine the commercial viability of the prospect.

Aquino said the results of further drilling and tests could come out by December.

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“By that time, we have already assessed how much gas is in the well or if we will drill another well,” he explained.

PNOC-EC’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.

The consortium operating the Malampaya gas field, which supplies more than half of the requirements of the Luzon grid, said the supply could only last until 2030.

The consortium is composed of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (45 percent) Chevron Malampaya LLC (45 percent) and PNOC-EC (10 percent).

The Mangosteen well also has a higher resource potential compared with PNOC-EC’s shuttered San Antonio gas field, also located in Cagayan Basin.

San Antonio, the country’s first commercial production of natural gas, operated commercially from July 4, 1994 to July 31, 2008 and produced a total 3.54 BCF and generated a total of 187,482.12 megawatt-hours of electricity.

The Cagayan Basin is one of the 16 sedimentary basins in the Philippines, the DOE said.

It has a potential unmapped resource of 1,938 BCF of gas and 26 billion barrels (mmbbls) of oil and mapped resource at 123 BCF of gas and three mmbbls of oil, based on the Philippine Petroleum Resource Assessment.

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