By Myrna M. Velasco – December 24, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
As it formalizes its request to the government on the lifting of moratorium on exploration ventures along diplomatically stifled petroleum blocks, PXP Energy Corporation of the Pangilinan group indicated that this could cement the country’s fate on the next gas commercial discovery to replace the Malampaya field.
“This would be a new source of gas as replacement for Malampaya, which is expected to start a decline in production by 2022,” the company said.
The petroleum block, which is under Service Contract 72 of corporate vehicle Forum (GSEC 101) Ltd., is required to drill two appraisal wells at the Sampaguita gas discovery in the next phase of its work program.
The scheduled work programs, including drilling and extended seismic surveys, will cost US$80 million, according to the company.
PXP Energy President Daniel Stephen P. Carlos, in his correspondence to the Department of Energy (DOE), has stipulated that “to be an effective replacement for the Malampaya gas, the development of SC 72 must commence no later than 2027 as it will take at least 6 years from start of development of SC 72 to first gas.”
He further stressed “this urgency puts in sharp focus the need to lift the force majeure in the SC 72 area to allow Forum and Monte Oro to undertake exploration works in the area in accordance with the work program.” Forum Energy, which is a subsidiary of PXP Energy is the petroleum block’s operator.
Aside from drilling, PXP Energy noted that they shall likewise be undertaking 3D seismic surveys for the North Bank prospect, which is located 60 kilometers north of Sampaguita.
“Prior to drilling, Forum will also have to conduct geotechnical surveys over the proposed Sampaguita well locations to identify potential hazards and constraints on the seafloor where the offshore drilling rig will be located,” the company said.
Relative to this plea, the Pangilinan group emphasized that “Forum and its third party contractors would need assurances from the Philippine government that any offshore exploration in the SC 72 area could be conducted without interference from domestic or foreign sources.”
The company recounted that when it was carrying out 3D seismic acquisition survey in 2011, “the said activity was temporarily suspended when two Chinese patrol vessels moved into the survey area and ordered Forum’s contracted seismic vessel to leave.”
If PXP Energy could finally resume its exploration work program, it is highly anticipated that it will be pursuing the venture this time with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Dennison Holdings of Davao businessman Dennis Uy.