With bigger reserves than Malampaya, Recto Bank drilling a go

Philex discovers more oil and gas at Recto Bank

MANILA, Philippines – A unit of Philex Mining Corp. announced on Wednesday, April 25, that it will proceed with a $75-million drilling program at the contested Recto Bank after new data showed an “improvement in the resources” of the gas-rich area.

In a statement, UK-based Forum Energy Plc said it has received a report about additional oil and gas reserves within its Service Contract 72 (SC 72) off Palawan.

It said the report by Weatherford Petroleum Consultants showed more reserves at the Sampaguita Gas Field, and a new prospect north of it. 

Forum Energy added that the report also “identified a number of potential drilling locations.”

“The Weatherford report shows an improvement in the resources previously known and supports the case to proceed with the drilling program,” said Forum Energy chairman Robin Nicholson.

“We will continue discussions with our major shareholders, our joint venture partner and our advisors to determine how the SC 72 drilling program, which we anticipate will cost a total of $75 million, will be funded,” he added.

Interpretation of new 3D and 2D data acquired over SC 72 showed Recto Bank has at least 4.67 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, bigger than the 3.4 trillion 2006 estimate by independent consultant Count Geophysics Ltd.

This is also 73% bigger than the nearby Malampaya project, which has estimated gas reserves of 2.7 trillion cubic feet. Malampaya is owned by the government and a consortium led by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.

SC 72 is located along the Recto Bank, initially known as Reed Bank, which is being disputed to be a part of the Spratly group of islands.

At least 6 countries, including the Philippines and China, are claiming ownership over Spratlys.

Forum Energy is 64.56% owned by Philex Petroleum Corp., which in turn is 64.79% owned by Philex Mining Corp.

Forum Energy holds a 70% interest in SC 72, and the remaining 30% is owned by Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc.

Philex is led by Manuel Pangilinan, and Monte Oro, by Enrique Razon. – Rappler.com