Corporate News

Philex Petroleum’s Forum Energy wins SC 72 contract extension

Posted on July 10, 2014 07:56:17 PM | BREAKING NEWS

UK-based Forum Energy plc has secured a one-year contract extension to drill two wells within Service Contract (SC) 72 located in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Philex Petroleum Corp. said Forum Energy reported that the Energy department granted its request for an extension of the second sub-phase of SC 72.

“The deadline for completion of the second sub-phase, comprising the drilling of two appraisal wells, has now been extended by one year to 15 August 2016,” Forum Energy’s announcement attached to Philex Petroleum’s disclosure on Thursday read.

“Further details regarding the company’s plan for SC 72 will be made in due course, as and when appropriate,” it added.

Philex Petroleum holds a 60.49% interest in Forum Energy, which in turn holds 70% interest in SC 72.

Last month, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said the Forum Energy is keen on proceeding with the exploratory activities within SC 72.

“We don’t have any reason not to grant it. They will not request if they are not confident that they will drill,” the Energy chief had said.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Petroleum chairman, earlier announced Forum Energy's plan to seek a contract extension amid a tight schedule for exploration work around the contested Reed Bank.

Mr. Pangilinan had said mobilization of the drilling rig will take around 12-18 months so Forum Energy was looking to commence drilling activity within the Sampaguita gas field “sometime in the first or second quarter of 2016.”

He also confirmed that Forum Energy is reviving talks for a possible partnership with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

“We're starting to renew our channels with CNOOC to see whether for example, in light with the Hong Kong settlement, there's a bit more reason to talk to us and see what we could do,” he had said.

The Energy department granted the seven-year exploratory program for SC 72 in February 2010. The contract covers an obligation to drill the wells by August 2011, but this was extended until August 2015 to avoid further territorial tensions with China. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano