Otto hires oil rig to drill in Palawan

interphoto_1358411147Otto Energy Philippines Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Otto Energy Ltd. of Australia, has tapped Maersk Drilling to drill the Hawkeye-1 exploration well under service contract 55 southwest off Palawan.

“Securing a drillship of the capability of the Maersk Venturer for the drilling of Hawkeye-1 in third quarter of 2015 is a major event for Otto. We are now finalizing preparations to begin drilling,” Otto chief executive Matthew Allen said in a disclosure to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Maesrk Venturer rig, considered one of the most modern and advanced drill ships in the world, has the required capability to drill the Hawkeye-1 exploration well.

The exploration well has been designed to reach the top of target reservoir about 1,000 meters below the sea bed and intersect the gas oil contact to prove the presence of the oil leg.

Maersk Venturer was commissioned in 2014 and was built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Korea.

The Hawkeye prospect has a gross prospective resource best estimate of 112 million barrels, with a net prospective resource estimate of 74 million barrels for Otto.

SC 55, located in the southwest Palawan basin, covers 9,880 square kilometers. It is a deep-water block 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 also said the board of Red Emperor Resources NL signed an agreement to take a 15-percent stake in the highly prospective SC 55.

Red Emperor, based in Australia, is a natural resource exploration company with oil and gas interests in the frontier state of Puntland, Somalia and the Republic of Georgia.

The company said Red Emperor’s entry, along with the $24.5-million funding committed by BHP Billiton and the expression of interest received in January 2015 from PNOC Exploration Corp. for a further 15-percent working interest, ensured that Otto was fully funded and mitigated significant financial risk associated with the drilling of Hawkeye-1.

Otto said PNOC-EC’s 15-percent working interest in SC55 was subject to approval by the Office of the President of the Philippines.

Otto will hold a 45-percent interest in SC 55; Otto Energy Investments Ltd., 33.18 percent; Red Emperor, 15 percent; and Palawan 55 Exploration and Production Co., a subsidiary of Trans-Asia Petroleum Corp., 6.82 percent.

 “Otto would like to welcome Red Emperor to the SC55 joint venture. Along with our existing joint venture partner, TransAsia Oil and Energy Development Corp. and PNOC-EC, the SC55 joint venture looks forward to delivering the highly important Hawkeye-1 exploration well on behalf of the Philippine Department of Energy,” Allen said.

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