ExxonMobil eyes Sandakan basin exploration

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 7 -- ExxonMobil Corp. plans to invest as much as $100 million exploring for oil and gas in southwestern Philippine waters, press reports said.

The disclosure, contained in Philippines Department of Energy documents, refers to a mid-2008 farmout under which Mitra Energy Ltd., a private company registered in Hamilton, Bermuda, farmed out a 50% interest and operatorship of Service Contract 56 to ExxonMobil (OGJ Online, June 13, 2008). The Philippines DOE approved the farmout in July 2008.

The partnership plans to drill two deepwater exploration wells in 2009, Mitra Energy's web site said.

SC 56 covers more than 8,600 sq km of acreage in as much as 3,000 m of water in the Sulu Sea northeast of Borneo Island in the Sandakan basin.

"The principle hydrocarbon play is contained within Miocene deepwater turbidite depositional systems in the distal setting of the Sandakan basin. Gravity-induced thin-skinned tectonism has given rise to a number of large toe-thrust anticlinal structures which have significant hydrocarbon potential, analogous to other circum-Borneo proven deepwater toe-thrust belts," Mitra Energy said.

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