The business group caught in the middle of the territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing over the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) is waiting for the government's approval on the request to extend deadlines on its drilling and survey activities. In a disclosure to the stock exchange on January 18, Philex Petroleum Corp said its unit, Forum Energy plc, the UK-registered oil and gas exploration and production company, has yet to receive a go-signal from the Department of Energy (DOE) that it could miss some of the deadlines in the previously approved work program. A work program details investment commitments as well as scheduled phases of exploration and drilling activities. The Philippine government granted Service Contract 72 (SC-72) covering the Recto Bank in the disputed sea in 2010. Philex chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told a briefing on January 17 that their group is in talks with the state-owned Chinese oil company CNOOC for possible commercial deal over the SC72 project.
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