Otto seeks 2-year moratorium on SC55 petroleum exploration

by Myrna Velasco – December 25, 2015

from Manila Bulletin

Australian firm Otto Energy Investments Ltd. has sought a two-year moratorium on further exploration of its Service Contract (SC) 55 petroleum block in southwest Palawan basin.

A formal request-application on this had already been lodged with the Department of Energy.

The block operator with its partner-interest holders fulfilled August this year the work obligation on the drilling of Hawkeye-1 exploratory well.

On the disclosure of interest-holder Trans-Asia Petroleum Corporation at the Philippine Stock Exchange, it stipulated that “although the well did not encounter gas in commercial quantities, it proved the presence of an active petroleum system in the contract area.”

The other main target for drilling at SC 55 had been the Cinco well together with other prospects and leads.

As initially estimated, the prospective recoverable petroleum reserves in the SC 55 block had been placed at 89 million barrels equivalent.

It has to be culled that the initial appraisal portended gas recovery, but the Hawkeye drilling had shown more of potential oil yield.

According to Otto Energy, the SC 55 block lies “in the middle of a proven regional oil and gas fairway that extends from the productive Borneo offshore region in the southwest to the offshore Philippine production assets northwest of Palawan.”

Fortunately, it is one of the petroleum blocks offered by the Philippine government that is not straddling any part of the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Otto Energy became the operator of SC55 after Australian oil giant BHP Billiton relinquished the venture – following some hurdles on securing host community approval on its planned drilling at Cinco well.

Presently, many petroleum exploration activities globally are being deferred due to the impact of collapsing oil prices both on the upstream and downstream segments of the industry.