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Philippines: Total acquires 75% stake in Sandakan block

Total E&P Philippines BV has taken a farmout from Mitra Energy (Philippines SC-56) Ltd., Kuala Lumpur, to acquire a 75% interest in Service Contract 56 in Philippine waters of the southwestern Sulu Sea 600 miles south-southwest of Manila.

The block covers 4,300 sq km in 200-3,000 m of water northeast of Borneo Island in the Sandakan basin. Mitra will retain a 25% interest and will initially operate.

Under a new exploratory phase starting Sept. 1, Mitra will reprocess existing seismic and shoot 500 sq km of 3D seismic. Then it will transfer operatorship to Total for drilling.

ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton formerly held interests in a larger SC 56 block, and ExxonMobil drilled exploratory wells (OGJ Online, Jan. 7, 2009).

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