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February 29, 2008

PHILIPPINES/ENERGY INDUSTRY
Galoc field to start operation in April

The Philippines' 17,500 barrels per day (bpd) Galoc oilfield will start commercial production in April, slightly behind plans for a first-quarter launch, an executive with Nido Petroleum Ltd was quoted by Reuters as saying on Thursday.

The new crude will raise the Philippines' domestic crude oil output by some 70 percent to up to 42,500 bpd and will provide the first major crude oil addition to the Asia-Pacific region this year.

"Wells are now ready for production services in April 2008," Jon Pattillo, head of exploration for Australia's Nido Petroleum, which holds a 22.279 percent in the development, told an industry conference in Singapore.

Two wells, Galoc-3 and Galoc-4, were completed earlier this month. Galoc-4 flowed at 6,150 bpd and Galoc-3 at 5,200 bpd, operator Galoc production company said in statements earlier this month.

The light sweet crude, with a 35 American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity will be marketed by European trader Vitol, a partner in the field, said a company official last year.

Around 240,000 bpd of new sweet crude are expected to come onstream in Asia this year, well below oil demand in the region.

Benchmark Malaysian Tapis crude settled at a record-high of $104.00 a barrel on Wednesday, according to Reuters calculations, above over other bellwethers, which also hit records, reflecting the higher quality of Asia-Pacific grades.


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