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ExxonMobil sees huge potential reserves in South Sulu Sea

- Donnabelle L. Gatdula () - October 3, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas exploration company, expects its Service Contract 56 in South Sulu Sea to yield potential oil reserves of 750 million barrels, enough to cover for the country’s daily consumption of 275,000 barrels per day in seven years.

ExxonMobil is the lead operator of SC 56. Other development partners are Mitra energy and BHP Billiton.

“If we are successful here it would provide enough petroleum products for seven years. In other words, it’s enough to supply us with our current requirement for seven years,” Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said.

ExxonMobil managing director Ian Fischer, for his part, said they would be pouring in about $100 million in investments for the initial phase of the drilling activity.

He said should they prove the potential reserve in the area, they would infuse another $100 million to support the drilling of another well.

SC 56 lies 900 kilometers southwest from Manila, 200 kilometers northwest from Bongao municipality and 65 kilometers from the town of Mapun in Tawi-Tawi in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

SC 56 is part of the Philippine government’s efforts to encourage investments in the energy sector leading to energy security for the country. 

The exploration phase will be undertaken at no cost to the Philippines, with all risk borne by the contractors, ExxonMobil, Mitra Energy and BHP Billiton.

An inter-agency initiative led by the Department of Energy (DOE) will come up with the first-of-a-kind one-stop-shop (OSS) to facilitate the smooth operation of oil exploration firms in the Philippines.

Reyes said this will be a start of a new era in the oil exploration industry wherein processing of papers for those conducting exploration activities in Philippine waters will be shortened due to the establishment of the OSS.

The OSS, Reyes said, will be applicable to all future drilling rig that would be coming in.

This OSS was institutionalized with the entry of the world’s largest oil exploration company, Exxon Mobil, in the Philippine oil exploration industry.

In 2007, ExxonMobil officially informed the DOE of its plan to engage in oil drilling activities in Palawan.

In the Asia-Pacific region, ExxonMobil has major exploration and production operations in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

The company also has a significant refining and marketing presence in more than 12 countries in the region.

AUTONOMOUS REGION OF MUSLIM MINDANAO BILLITON DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ENERGY SECRETARY ANGELO REYES EXPLORATION EXXON MOBIL IAN FISCHER IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC MALAYSIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA MITRA ENERGY OIL
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