Total, Mitra Energy to start SC 56 oil drilling next year
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - French firm Total E&P Philippines B.V. and Mitra Energy Ltd. of Malaysia are set to start drilling operations in Service Contract 56 in the South Sulu Sea next year, an energy department official said.

Energy Resource Development Bureau director Ismael Ocampo said the consortium is currently interpreting the 3D seismic survey on the area.

 â€œThen they will drill one well next year,” Ocampo said.

The joint venture has spent around $50 million for the study. It has already completed the 3D seismic survey covering 540 square kilometers in the area. The second 3D seismic survey followed an initial survey conducted in 2007 and covered 1,756 square kilometers SC 56.

Following the results of the initial survey, the SC 56 consortium is optimistic of a bigger oil and gas find in the area in water depths ranging from 200 meters to 3,000 meters.

In an earlier report, Mitra said based on previous drillings, SC 56 is estimated to contain contingent resource of between 42 million barrels to 56 million barrels of oil.  Additional prospective resources in undrilled prospects and leads are estimated at 628 million barrels of oil to 1.127 billion barrels of oil.

At present, Total holds a 75 percent stake in SC 56 after acquiring it from Mitra last year. Mitra still owns the remaining 25 percent.

Mitra, for its part, earlier bought its stake from ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Philippines B.V. (50 percent) and BHP Billiton International Exploration Pty Ltd (25 percent).

This was after ExxonMobil withdrew its 50 percent stake in SC 56 after finding “non-commercial quantities of gas” in the South Sulu Sea.

From 2010 to 2011, ExxonMobil drilled four wells and invested around $400 million before it declared SC 56, which covered an area of 8,200 square kilometers including the gas-rich Sandakan Basin, as non-commercial.              

BILLITON INTERNATIONAL EXPLORATION PTY LTD ENERGY RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT BUREAU EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION PHILIPPINES B ISMAEL OCAMPO MITRA ENERGY LTD P PHILIPPINES B SANDAKAN BASIN SERVICE CONTRACT SOUTH SULU SEA TOTAL E
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