Forum Energy to continue drilling in Recto Bank

Posted at 04/25/12 10:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Forum Energy plc., a UK-incorporated oil and gas exploration company, confirmed there was an "improvement" in the resources found in Recto Bank, and will continue with its drilling program.

On its website, Forum Energy posted a report by Weatherford Petroleum Consultants on the interpretation of new 3D and 2D data acquired over the Service Contract 72 (SC72) license area, also known as Recto Bank, in 2011.

Robin Nicholson, company chairman, said the drilling program in Recto Bank is estimated to cost around $75 million.

"The Weatherford Report shows an improvement in the resources previously known and supports the case to proceed with the drilling programme. We will continue discussions with our major shareholders, our joint venture partner and our advisors to determine how the SC72 drilling programme, which we anticipate will cost a total of $75 million, will be funded," Nicholson said.

Forum Energy said the Weatherford report gave a better understanding of the Sampaguita gas field. A new prospect was identified in the North Bank, located north of Sampaguita but still within SC72.

The report also identified several potential drilling locations.

Forum Energy had previously said that based on a 2006 study, the Sampaguita field had a potential of up to 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or more than 5 times the initial estimates. The Sampaguita gas field is near the Malampaya gas field, with about 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and which supplies fuel to three power plants for the main Luzon island.

Earlier, a Department of Energy official said the natural gas resources in Recto Bank may even be bigger than in Malampaya.

However, the company said the pre-drill estimates of resources are based on certain assumptions and the information and interpretations currently available. It noted that there are no assurances these assumptions will be proven accurate.

Forum Energy has a 70% interest in Service Contract 72, with the remaining stake held by Enrique Razon's Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc.

Forum Energy is owned by Manuel V. Pangilinan's Philex Petroleum Corp. and Roberto Ongpin's Atok Big Wedge. Philex Petroleum holds a total 64.45% direct and indirect interest in Forum. Atok owns Hong Kong-based Tidemark Holdings Ltd., which owns around 26% of Forum.