PNOC Exploration Corp., a unit of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., hopes to find commercial gas in Santiago City, Isabela that could power a natural gas plant with a capacity of up to 100 megawatts.
“We will drill SC 37 [this year]... Most probably this is a gas prone area.If we find gas, we will probably put up a natural gas fired power plant,” PNOC Exploration president Pedro Aquino Jr. said.
PNOC Exploration last year sought bids to provide drilling rig services on service contract 37 in Isabela with an approved budget of P80 million.
The contract covers a one-month period after receipt of the notice to proceed. The PNOC Exploration board approved the drilling of the Mangosteen prospect in SC 37 since 2012.
PNOC Exploration owns 100 percent of SC 37, which covers 360 square kilometers of the Cagayan Basin covering Santiago City, Isabela and Quirino provinces.
The Energy Department awarded SC 37 to PNOC Exploration on July 18, 1990.
PNOC Exploration has been seeking for partners to take up to a maximum of 70 percent in service contract 37 located between Isabela and Quirino provinces.
The company earlier operated the San Antonio gas field under SC 37. The field produced 3.54 billion cubic feet of gas supplying the 3-MW San Antonio Gas Power Plant, which in turn generated electricity for about 10,000 households in the municipalities of Echague, Jones, San Agustin and Santiago City.
The company decommissioned the San Antonio gas plant in 2008 after pressure from the gas well dropped below the required inlet level of the power plant. This meantthe well could no longer supply the right amount of gas to keep the power plant running.
The San Antonio gas field in SC 37 was drilled in 1991 and confirmed to contain as much as four billion cubic feet of gas.
PNOC Exploration conducted a re-assessment of the additional promising blocks in the block in 2010 and identified several prospects, such as Mangosteen. It also confirmed other structures mapped in earlier survewys.
Earlier, PNOC Exploration and partner Nido Petroleum Ltd. plugged and abandoned the Baragatan-1A well prospect in service contract 63 in offshore southwest Palawan due to “low gas saturation.”
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