Australian firm eyes new offshore oil exploration in PH

Published September 21, 2022, 4:49 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Australian firm Sacgasco, operating as Nido Petroleum in the Philippines, is eyeing a new offshore oil developments in the Palawan basin, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) revealed.

A DTI statement emanating from its Sydney Trade Office said Sacgasco is planning to get a drilling rig in early 2023 with a view to conduct an extended well test on the revitalization of the old Cadlao Oilfield – covered by Service Contract (SC) 6B in the Palawan basin.

A successful test would lead to the redevelopment of the Cadlao Oilfield, DTI said.

Aside from the Cadlao oilfield project, DTI said that Sacgasco said they plan to drill the exciting Nandino Prospect, through SC 54A, also offshore Palawan and to conduct an extended well test as the basis for more to fully developing a discovery at Nandino.

DTI said Sacgasco’s initial investments for the oil projects in SC 6B and SC54A are in the order of $15 million each for the drilling and testing of oil production with a follow-up investment of between $10-50 million for each project.

Sacgasco (Nido) is also involved in SC 14C2 which includes potential for redevelopment of the West Linapacan Oilfield.

“We see massive opportunities to develop oil and gas in the Philippines territory. Our highest desire is to explore frontier areas with large potential near the Malampaya Gas Field that supplies Natural Gas to Manila and surrounding areas. The size of the prospects in this area (SC 58) are such that successful drilling would dramatically change the Philippines’ energy picture for the better,” said Sacgasco Managing Director Gary Jeffery as quoted in the DTI statement.

DTI said Jeffery is visiting the country this month, Sept. 19-24, to meet with their local partners, the Department of Energy (DOE) and other stakeholders, as they continue to accelerate plans for offshore oil developments in the Philippines.

“Our vision is well-aligned with the new administration’s goal of increasing the level of energy production in the Philippines as the country’s energy demand far exceeds reliable supply as stated by President Marcos during his SONA,” Jeffery added. “We can help the Philippines address its energy challenge and in the most successful scenario, the country can even become a net exporter of energy,” Jeffery said.

Sacgasco representatives were initially part of the business delegation to the recently concluded Pacific Business Mission to the Philippines last August, but had to delay their plans for a few weeks due to COVID-19.

The DTI said that its trade office in Sydney affirmed that it is ready to provide whatever assistance is needed so the company can make it happen in the Philippines.

In the statement, the DTI noted that the government has prioritized the equilibrium price for energy.

As such, the DTI assures continued support for foreign investor via the Board of Investments, with endorsement from the Department of Energy.

Investments are guaranteed enhanced incentives focused on energy related projects to achieve efficiency, cost reduction, ensure continuous supply of petroleum products, and enhance environmental protection.

Incentives offered under the the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 19998 include additional deduction for labor expenses, minimum tax and duty of three percent and value-added tax on imported capital equipment, unrestricted use of consigned equipment, exemption from taxes and duties on imported spare parts, among others.