Ayala to resume SC55 drilling in 2023

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the proposal of Ayala-led ACE Enexor and joint venture partner Pryce Corporation consortium to commence drilling in the Service Contract (SC) 55 exploration block in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) off the coast of Palawan.

In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, ACE Enexor said the SC55 consortium will commence drilling the Cinco-1 appraisal well by April 2023, a year before the DOE’s force majeure period expires. 

ACE Enexor added that subsidiary Palawan 55 Exploration & Production Corporation, SC55’s operator, was asked by the DOE to submit “a digital copy of the geological model of the Cinco Prospect and a drilling montage prior to the commencement of the drilling activity.” 

SC55 covers 9,880 square kilometers.

Should things push through, SC55 would be the first to conduct drilling operations in the WPS since the government lifted the exploration moratorium in October 2020.

ACE Enexor currently owns 75% of Palawan55, while Pryce owns the remaining 25%. 

Palawan55 was supposed to begin its drilling operations within the first two years of its program, which began in April 2020. 

ACE Enexor, now headed by former Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. Managing Director Don Paulino, recently underwent an asset-for-share swap with parent firm ACEN