ACE Enexor, Inc. (ACEX), the exploration unit of Ayala-led AC Energy, is planning to drill an exploratory well within the Service Contract (SC) 55 block off the coast of southwestern Palawan by next year.
During the company’s annual stockholders meeting Monday, Enexor Chairman Eric Francia said the company is committed to push through with its plans despite mobility restrictions due to the COVID-19 quarantines.
Technical and preliminary studies on SC55 were completed in 2020, said Francia, adding that ACEX would proceed with definite drilling planning within the quarter.
Enexor President Raymundo Reyes, meanwhile, said preparations for the exploratory well’s drilling proposal were underway.
The proposal is a comprehensive technical document detailing the plan for constructing the borehole and evaluating the rock formations and fluids that they would encounter in the subsurface. Once completed, it will be submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) for approval.
Assuming the DOE approves the proposal, ACEX through subsidiary Palawan55 Exploration and Production Corp. will begin the tendering process for the required drilling rig, major equipment and supplies, and oil field services, according to Reyes.
Enexor filed for a one-year force majeure request with the DOE in light of the quarantines. The department is still deciding on what action to take.
Nonetheless, Reyes said that the proposed drilling program for SC55 would be a milestone in Enexor’s efforts to help the country develop its own gas resources leading to energy security and the energy transition.
In April last year, the DOE said the Hawkeye-1 well within the SC55 block encountered a significant volume of movable natural gas deemed to be a non-associated gas discovery, estimated at 2.2 trillion cubic feet.
Under Section 13.02 of SC55, non-associated gas discovery means the reservoir has natural gas, but has no oil.