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January 7, 2009

US oil giant to pour $100m into Philippine project
US oil major Exxon Mobil Corp has committed to invest up to $100 million to search for oil and gas in the southwestern Philippines, Reuters reported, quoting documents from the Department of Energy.

Exxon earlier took a 50 percent interest in a contract held by Malaysian exploration firm Mitra Energy Ltd to search for oil and gas in the deepwater portion of the Sandakan basin.

An official at the energy department, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak, confirmed on Tuesday that Exxon is planning to invest up to $100 million on a its drilling programme, adding the agency was waiting for company to provide details of its spending plans.

Interest in oil and gas in the Southeast Asian nation has increased following the discovery of Galoc oilfield, the country's first major oil find since the 1990s, in the southwestern Philippines.

Galoc, operated by European trader Vitol and Australian oil firm Otto Energy, has been producing an average 15,000 barrels per day since it came onstream October 9. Reserves at the oilfield are estimated at 10 million barrels.

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