France, Philippines, Australia will begin drilling 5 wells for oil and Gas Exploration by 2013

The Department of Energy expects local and foreign petroleum exploration companies to drill at least five wells in 2013, signifying investors' enduring confidence in the current administration.

According to Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr., drilling activities are expected to be conducted by French firm Total E&P Philippines BV for Service Contract (SC) 56 in Sulu Sea, Blade Petroleum for SC 6 or Cadlao block, Australian firm Otto Energy Ltd. for SC 50 or the Calauit field, Nido Petroleum Ltd. for SC 63, and BHP Billiton for SC 55.

Layug noted that the continuing interest in oil and gas exploration could be attributed to the country's rich potential and to the current high oil price environment, which would make it more economical to conduct such drilling activities.

The energy official previously commented that the Philippines is a "sleeping giant" in terms of petroleum exploration. The Philippines has only 27 existing service contracts of which only two are producing. Therefore, he said, "we need to encourage more investors to come here."

Total is expected to drill a well after the acquisition of 500 square kilometers of additional 3D data in SC 56, where oil reserves are estimated to exceed 750 million barrels, enough for the country to live on for seven years.

A well may also be drilled to tap the potential resource at the Calauit oil field (SC 50), which is said to hold up to 15 million barrels.

Also, recoverable resources at the Cadlao oil field (SC 6) are estimated at 7.8 million barrels. Blade Petroleum earlier said that production there could reach some three million barrels of oil in the first year alone.

The Philippine government is aggressively pushing for the exploration and development of indigenous fuel resources to enable the country to meet its daily demand and reduce the importation of petroleum products.


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