Phinma to conduct further studies in Palawan

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By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor

PHINMA Petroleum and Geothermal, Inc. (PPG) plans to conduct further geophysical studies in service contract (SC) 55, the offshore southwest Palawan deepwater exploration site near the area where gas was discovered in 2015.

Raymundo A. Reyes, Jr., PPG executive vice-president and chief operating officer, said the company had committed to conduct advanced studies near the Hawkeye-1 well to reassess the prospects of the block after the gas discovery about three years ago.

He said the company “now has 37.5% participating interest and has become the interim operator of SC 55.” PPG previously had 6.82% in the service contract, which grants it the exclusive right to explore, develop or utilize the exploration block.

“The DoE (Department of Energy) just approved the transfer of performer operator’s interest to the continuing parties, which include [PPG],” Mr. Reyes said.

In November 2016, Australia-based Otto Energy Ltd. and its unit Otto Energy Philippines, Inc. notified the DoE of its withdrawal from SC 55. This came after the department extended the term of the service contract until Dec. 23, 2017.

Mr. Reyes said the contract had been further extended until April next year by the DoE.

“This block is not included in the disputed area between China and the Philippines,” he said.

Aside from SC 55, PPG’s other exploration interest include 7.78% of SC 6 Block A, located offshore northwest Palawan where the company is part of a consortium that completed last year its work program consisting of more advanced seismic data reprocessing and quantitative seismic inversion.

“The studies yielded significant improvement in the imaging of complex and deeper geological structures,” PPG said in its annual report.

This year’s work program is composed of seismic interpretation and mapping and integration of quantitative inversion results that would serve as input to preliminary well design and cost estimates.

PPG also has interest in SC Block B located offshore northwest Palawan, SC 51 in Eastern Visayas and SC 69 in Central Visayas.

For 2018, PPG will be focused on its project in Argao, Cebu, where the company plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility with a 120-megawatt (MW) power plant component.

In November 2017, the company signed a joint development agreement with three foreign companies, which will cover the deployment of a floating storage and regasification unit as well as the power plant and associated facilities.

PPG targets to finish the project by 2022 to 2023.