Thursday, 18 February 2010

UK firm to drill in Spratlys

by Alena Mae S. Flores
Manila Standard

The Energy Department converted Forum Energy Plc’s geophysical survey exploration contract into a service agreement that will allow the British firm to start drilling operations over the disputed Reed Bank area off west Palawan in the South China Sea.

“We are very pleased to have finally secured the service contract over the GSEC 101 area in what is a company-changing development for Forum Energy. We intend to push forward with the appraisal of this gas field to commerciality and ultimately to the delivery of material value to our shareholders,” Walter Brown, Forum Energy Philippines chief executive, said.

“Given the potential size of the resource and proximity to the Asian markets, we believe this project is an ideal candidate for an LNG [liquefied natural gas] facility,” Brown added in a statement posted on the company’s Web site.

The local unit of Forum Energy earlier held the GSEC 101 license. The Reed Bank area, which includes the Sampaguita gas field, is estimated to contain a minimum of 3.4 trillion cubic feet of proven gas in place.

Results from the 3D seismic program and an analysis done by independent consultant Count Geophysics Ltd. showed that the maximum reserves could go up to 20 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Reed Bank concession is located at the southwest of the Shell-operated Malampaya gas field in northwest Palawan, the country’s only gas production field to date.

Forum Energy holds a 70- percent stake in GSEC 101, which is the company’s principal asset, while Monte Oro Resources & Energy Inc. owns the balance.

The government initially awarded GSEC 101 to Sterling Energy Plc in June 2002. Sterling drilled four wells at the southwest end of the structure. Two of the wells tested gas at rates of 3.6 million cubic feet and 3.2 million cubic feet per day, respectively.

Forum Energy, meanwhile, said Noble & Co. Ltd., its nominated adviser and broker, had changed its name to Execution Noble & Co. Ltd.

Malacañang last year stepped in to discuss the application of Forum Energy to convert GSEC 101 into a service contract.

A high-level Cabinet meeting was held a few weeks ago to discuss the application of Forum Energy, whose GSEC conversion has been delayed due to concerns over territorial boundaries.

The Reed Bank is part of the disputed area in the South China Sea. China and Vietnam has staked their claims over the Spratly Islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment