The new operator of an offshore petroleum block at the Camotes Sea in Visayas, known as Service Contract (SC) 69, is readying a $2-million to $3-million exploration plan following the divestment of Australian energy explorer Otto Energy Ltd.
The exploration activities would fall under the fourth sub-phase of SC 69, according to new operator Frontier Gasfields Pty. Ltd.
“If we elect to enter into the next sub-phase, it will be a one well commitment of $3 million or a 3D seismic program with a minimum commitment of $2 million,” Frontier Oil Corp. (FOC), the operator’s parent firm, said in a statement
Frontier Gasfields and Trans-Asia Oil Petroleum Corp. hold a 50% interest each in SC 69 after Otto’s exit, so that the two companies will equally share the costs associated with the exploration.
As to the timeline for the exploration activities, Frontier Oil said: “Once we enter into the subphase, the commitments would be carried out between May 2015 to May 2016.”
The plan would still be subject to the Department of Energy’s approval, the company said.
Last week, Frontier Oil announced the conclusion of Otto’s divestment from SC 69, a petroleum service contract covering 704,000 hectares in the Camotes Sea between the islands of Cebu and Leyte.
Frontier Oil, founded in the Philippines in 2011 and has a stake in two other blocks, had said assuming control of SC 69 would further strengthen its position in the country’s upstream oil sector.
“With FOC increasing its stake in SC 69 and taking on operatorship, the company now has a firm foothold in each of the three most prospective basins in the Philippines in terms of exploration,” FOC Chief Executive Officer Kristoffer Fellowes had said last Dec. 1, referring to the Palawan, Cagayan and the Visayan basins.
FOC also holds interests in other licenses: SC 50 and SC 52 located offshore Palawan and onshore Cagayan, respectively.
Last August, the company tapped Malaysia’s UMW Offshore Drilling Sdn Bhd for a drilling activity within SC 50 or the Calauit oil field.
While the jack-up rig was originally intended for drilling activities within SC 50, Frontier Oil has the flexibility to use it in other areas within the Philippines.