ACE Enexor Inc. of the Ayala group said the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved plans of its subsidiary Palawan 55 Exploration and Production Corp. to drill wells in order to appraise a natural gas find off northwest Palawan.
It said in a regulatory filing that the DOE’s approval also covered the budget of the Palawan55-operated Service Contract (SC) No. 55 appraisal project pegged at $1.7 million.
“Further, the DOE stated that it expects the submission of the proposed budget for the drilling of one well after the drilling proposal has been approved by the DOE,” the company added.
Palawan55 has a 75-percent stake in SC 55 while its partner Pryce Gases Inc. has 25 percent.
SC 55, where gas was discovered in 2015, has entered into a DOE-approved appraisal period that started last April 26.
The consortium is looking at drilling wells in two more promising sites in addition to the well dubbed “Hawkeye 1,” which is entering this week into an appraisal period following the discovery of gas there in 2015.
The area covered by SC 55 is in the middle of a proven regional oil and gas fairway that extends from the productive Borneo offshore region in the southwest to the offshore Philippine production assets northwest of Palawan.
Otto Energy, SC 55’s previous operator, said Hawkeye contained a “best estimate” resource of 480 million barrels of oil—a volume that might be brought economically to the surface.
Last April, ACE Enexor chief operating officer Raymundo A. Reyes Jr. said technical studies yielded a number of new prospects and leads in the vicinity of the Hawkeye gas accumulation.
Reyes said, drilling scenario planning indicated that the primary prospects were “technically drillable,” adding that Palawan55 intended to prepare—for the DOE approval—a definitive work program that would include the drilling of at least one well no later than April 2022.