Otto spuds in troubled waters


Field operator, Otto Energy, drilled the Hawkeye-1 deepwater well in the Palawan basin located in the west of Philippines, near the disputed South China Sea.

After the installation of the conductor at 1906m, the Hawkeye-1 exploration well was drilled and cased to 2449m, informed joint venture partner, Red Emperor Resources.

Red Emperor said, installation and testing of the blowout preventer (BOP) has also been completed, along with the 17 1⁄2in hole to 2664m. Current operations involve the setting of 13 5⁄8in casing in anticipation for drilling the 12 1⁄8in hole to the primary target reservoir.

Service Contract 55 (SC55) of the Hawkeye prospect is a joint venture between Otto (78.18%), Red Emperor (15%) and Palawan55 Exploration and Production

According to local reports, SC 55 is not situated in parts of the South China Sea being claimed by China. However, there have been reports of China’s presence in the area.

In 2011, two Chinese ships bullied a civilian vessel while conducting an oil exploration in the Recto Bank, located 80 miles from Palawan, reported The Philippine Star.

Recto Bank, which is also not part of the disputed territory and well within the Filipino zone has an estimated resource potential of 165 MMbbl of oil.

The Hawkeye prospect, however, contains approximately 480 MMbbl of oil and gross prospective resource of 112 MMbbl, identified on 2D seismic in 2007 and 3D seismic acquisition in late 2009.

The deepwater block is in the middle of a proven regional oil and gas fairway that extends from the offshore Borneo region in the southwest to production assets northwest of Palawan.

The Maersk Venturer rig was hired by Otto for this 23-day drilling operation designed to intersect the gas oil contact in the area. The rig, which recently completed work for France’s Total offshore Malaysia, is capable of operating in up to 3600m of water. It is equipped with dual drilling derricks, high capacity mud pumps and bed space for 230 personnel.

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