PXP Energy eyes acquisition of seismic vessel

By Jordeene Sheex Lagare – June 2, 2018
from The Manila Times

PXP Energy plans to accelerate exploration activities in all its service contracts and is considering the acquisition of a seismic vessel to achieve this goal, a top company official said on Friday.

“[PXP Energy] remains firmly committed to advancing its exploration, production efforts especially in the four service contracts the company is operating,” PXP Energy President Daniel Stephen Carlos said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting.

Service contracts currently held by the company include SC 72 (Recto Bank), SC 75 and 74 (Northwest Palawan), and SC 40 (Northern Cebu).

PXP Energy has a 67.19 percent controlling interest in London-based Forum Energy, which in turn has a 70-percent stake in SC 72. The listed firm also has a 50 percent direct operating interest in SC 75.

The Department of Energy (DoE) under the Aquino administration had earlier suspended all exploration works in SC 72 and 75 in view of the country’s territorial dispute with China.

Although the moratorium is still in effect, PXP Energy is planning to acquire a seismic vessel to further explore more areas in SC 72 and SC 75.

“The immediate program [for SC 72]is the acquisition of a 2,600 square-kilometer 3D seismic data aimed at further evaluating the prospect prior to drilling an exploratory well,” Carlos told PXP Energy stockholders.
Aside from activities in the Sampaguita field, the company also intends to perform additional work on their northbank prospect, which is about 70 kilometers northeast of Sampaguita field, Carlos added.

For SC 75, PXP Energy plans to purchase 3D seismic survey data covering “a number of leads” they have determined, which would cover at least 1,000 sq. km., to upgrade the identified leads to prospect status, Carlos said.

Carlos estimates that the acquisition of seismic vessels they need could cost up to $8 million to $10 million at this time, taking into account the current situation in the industry.

He said PXP Energy is willing to downscale its involvement in its service contract as long as the contract terms are beneficial to their shareholders.

“Why not? If they [foreign entity]can give [us]better terms. Let’s say they are ready to invest for this x amount of capex [capital expenditures]… When it comes to the exploration stage, the foreign entity can take 100 percent of the operatorship under President Decree 87,” Carlos noted, adding they are allowed by the law to recover about 70 percent of operating costs.

However, he said profit sharing is 60-40 in favor of the Philippine company and that it is subject to the Energy Department.

PXP Energy’s primary business is the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, through interests in petroleum contracts and holdings in resource development companies with interests in petroleum service contracts.

Formerly Philex Petroleum Corp., the company was incorporated in December 2007 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philex Mining Corp.

Shares of PXP Energy ended down 3.35 percent at P12.68 each on Friday.