The Department of Energy approved the transfer of operatorship of Service Contract 53, or the onshore Mindoro block, to Philodrill Corp.
Philodrill said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Monday it received the DOE letter dated Jan. 11 assigning the company as operator of SC 53.
“After thorough review of the technical, legal and financial qualifications of the continuing partners, the request for redistribution of participating interests among the continuing partners and the assignment of Philodrill as the operator, is hereby approved,” the DOE said in the letter.
Philodrill now holds 81.48 percent of SC 53, while Anglo Philippine Holdings Corp. owns the remaining 18.52 percent.
The DOE in June 2020 terminated SC 53 because of the failure of the former block operator, Mindoro-Palawan Oil and Gas Inc., to comply with reportorial obligations.
Philodrill said in a previous disclosure the company, along with non-operator partners Anglo Philippine Holdings and Basic Energy Corp., were surprised by the decision of DOE as they had all been demanding MPOGI to rectify the operator’s operational deficiency.
The company said they were not informed by DOE or by the operator of the contract termination as they were only able to learn of the decision during a verbal inquiry on July 4, 2019.
The joint venture partners immediately appealed the SC termination on July 8, 2019. The partners also manifested their intention to reconstitute the joint venture and agreed to continue the service contract and deliver the SC 53 commitments.
Philodrill acted as the de facto operator pending the appeal and negotiated for the settlement of the outstanding obligations of the joint venture which MPOGI failed to settle.
SC 53 covers 6,600 square kilometers of the onshore areas of Mindoro Island within the North Palawan micro-continental block.
Past exploration efforts in SC 53 included the acquisition of 2,000 kilometers of 2D seismic data and the drilling of 4 exploration wells. Three of the 4 wells encountered oil and gas but were considered non-commercial at the time of drilling.
The SC 53 consortium agreed in 2011 to drill Progreso-2 well to fulfil one of the two well obligations of the DOE.