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2 December 2009
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ExxonMobil to start drilling second well in Sulu, Philippines

Following good results from its first deepwater well, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Philippines B.V. is drilling a second well, which would cost some $100 million, within Service Contract 56 in Sulu Sea, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In a joint announcement Tuesday, Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes and ExxonMobil managing director Ian A. Fischer said traces of hydrocarbons were found within the first well or the Dabakan-1 well.

“It’s not a dry well and so there’s a reason to explore and do more work. They’re going to drill a second (well) in the next 60 to 90 days. They are confident there’s something there, the only thing is they don’t know yet the exact magnitude of the reserve,” Reyes said.

The drilling at the Dabakan-1 well, which also cost about $100 million, started on Oct. 11. This well is located about 65 kilometers from Mapun Island, a municipality in the province of Tawi-Tawi.

“Logs taken at the Dabakan-1 well indicated that we encountered reservoir sands and hydrocarbons. The well will be drilled further to a total depth of about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet), setting the record for the deepest well drilled in the Philippines,” Fischer said.

“We are encouraged enough to drill a second well, but there’s a lot more that we have to do, including analysis of the well we’re drilling now, which will probably be finished in another week or two. (Although we are) very early in the stages of what we call the exploration stage, we’re encouraged,” Fischer added.

Fischer noted that the consortium operating SC 56 was set to drill the second well within the month.

The SC 56 consortium is composed of ExxonMobil, which owns a 50-percent interest in the contract; Australian firm BHP Billiton Pty Ltd., 25 percent, and local company Mitra Energy Philippines Ltd., which owns the remaining 25-percent working interest in the project.

According to Fischer, data analysis and additional studies are being conducted to evaluate the potential of the find.



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