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NEWS UPDATES 29 June 2009

Philippine firm strikes major oil find in Vietnam

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Philex Mining Corp, in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, said Pitkin Petroleum Plc, through its wholly-owned unit Vietnam American Exploration Co Llc (VAMEX), has completed drill testing of the Ca Rong Do (Red Emperor) discovery well on Block 07/03 in offshore Vietnam, the Manila Times reported.

Philex said the well flowed oil at a combined rate of 3,265 barrels per day, in addition to 8.1 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

“We are very pleased to have encountered oil and gas with our first well on Block 07/03 and Pitkin’s first well in its international drilling program,” Art Morado, Pitkin managing director and chief executive officer, said.

Philex is Philippines’ largest copper and gold mining firm. It also has small interests in oil production particularly in the Galoc in the Philippines and the Abouma field in Gabon.

Philex also owns 21.1 percent of Pitkin, an international upstream oil and gas exploration and production company focused mainly in the Pacific Rim region, with operations in Vietnam, the Philippines, Peru and the United States.

Pitkin said a three-dimensional survey is being planned to define the resource potential of the Ca Rong Do discovery and adjacent areas and to determine future exploration and appraisal activity.

A second exploration well is scheduled for drilling in the Vietnam discovery by the fourth quarter of this year to determine the extent and viability of the reserves.

“We look forward to an active exploration program to follow this success, and to progressing our exploration campaigns in Peru and the Philippines,” Morado said.

VAMEX has a 40 percent stake in the project while Pearl Oil Ltd. and Premiur Oil Plc holds 15 percent and 60 percent, respectively. The latter, however, divested 15 percent of its stake to Australian-listed Pan Pacific Petroleum NL. The transaction is still subject to the approval of the Vietnamese government.


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