UK firm to search for gas in Reed Bank
() - June 24, 2002 - 12:00am
The Department of Energy (DOE) will sign soon a Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) with UK-based Sterling Energy Limited Partnership (Sterling) to explore for gas in the Reed Bank area in Northwest Palawan.

Energy Secretary Vincent S. Perez said the GSEC 101 will allow Sterling to carry out a geophysical work program and conduct a feasibility study of the Sampaguita gas discovery in the said area.

Perez said the GSEC covers an area of over one million hectares in offshore Northwest Palawan. He said the area has been showing signs of huge potential gas reserves as indicated in previous studies conducted by Kirkland/Dragon in the early ’90s.

"Our investment promotion efforts have started to pay off. This GSEC 101 is the first foreign exploration in the last four years. We are using Malampaya as our attraction for prospective foreign oil and gas exploration companies. Indeed it has produced some fruit," he said.

According to Perez, the European exploration firm has committed to bring in a new technology to be able to flow the gas discoveries in the area.

Sterling, the energy chief said, is already familiar with the Reed Bank and with the Philippines in general through Kirkland/Dragon. He recalled that Kirkland built up a large portfolio of exploration licenses in the South East Asian region including substantial acreage holdings in the Philippines.

Sterling was established in the late 2000 by a team of experienced oil industry professionals who have worked together over a period of 15 years. They are recognized for their technical and commercial expertise in a number of oil and gas discoveries worldwide.

Under GSEC 101, Sterling will initially acquire around 350 kilometers of seismic data over the Reed Bank area and likewise conduct a feasibility study to determine the economic viability of Sampaguita discovery around the Reed Bank area at a projected cost of P10 million.

The UK-based exploration group will also have an option to drill up to two conventional wells and deep water exploration well within the GSEC area. A conventional well is estimated to cost up to P100 million each while the cost of a deep water exploration well can amount to P200 million.

"I am extremely pleased of the confidence of Sterling in the prospects of the Philippine gas exploration prospects," Perez said, noting that the DOE is expecting to sign another GSEC with another exploration company next month. – Donnabelle Gatdula

AREA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DONNABELLE GATDULA ENERGY SECRETARY VINCENT S EXPLORATION GAS GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY AND EXPLORATION CONTRACT KIRKLAND NORTHWEST PALAWAN PEREZ REED BANK
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