Petronas, PNOC to drill off Mindoro in March

Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and Malaysia's Petronas plan to start drilling the first of several new offshore exploration wells off the Phillipines' Mindoro in March.

Feb 27th, 2007

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27 -- Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) and Malaysia's Petronas plan to start drilling the first of several new offshore exploration wells off the Phillipines' Mindoro in March.

A spokesman at the Philippine's Department of Energy (DOE) said Petronas, as operator, recently submitted a drilling plan. In addition, the joint-venture expects to drill another exploration well by 2008 and two more in 2009.

The drilling areas, covered by Service Contract 47 (SC47), are 80% held by Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn. Bhd. and 20% by PNOC subsidiary PNOC-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), who plan to invest some $22.5 million for their initial drilling activities.

A PNOC spokesman said two other prospects—Cherry and Tablas—have been "mapped, evaluated, and matured for drilling."

The Petronas-PNOC Mindoro project is reported to be part of an overall drilling program mapped out by DOE, which expects 8-10 oil and gas wells to be explored by 2007.

In 2008, DOE expects 16-26 wells to be drilled in various exploration areas in Palawan and Sulu Sea basin, while 19-28 additional exploration wells are to be started up by 2009.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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