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    Nido allots $70m to drill one RP well
    By Alena Mae S. Flores

    Perth-based Nido Petroleum Ltd. is spending $70 million this year for drilling a well in the Northwest Palawan area, a company official said.

    David Whitby, Nido chairman, told reporters that the company was looking at drilling one well at service contract 54, near the Malampaya field, covering some 537,616 hectares.

    “We’re probably going to spend close to $70 million this year. It is an interesting time for us. We’ve completed our seismic [study] and we have new generation seismic surveys over the entire basin,” he said during yesterday’s blessing and inauguration of its Philippine office at the Philamlife Tower in Makati.

    “Our acreage is 450 kilometers and it takes seismic vessel almost a day to go one way and then it turns around and to another way,” Whitby said.

    Nido, a company listed at the Australian Stock Exchange, holds a 60 percent of stake in SC 54, while Perth-based Yilgarn Gold Ltd. owns a 40 percent interest.

    Nido also owns 50 percent of SC 58, with Philippine National Oil Co. holding the other half. Nido and PNOC, meanwhile, equally owns 50 percent in SC 63. All the contracts are located in Northwest Palawan.

    Newly-appointed Nido Petroleum president Emmanuel De Dios committed to build on the initiatives undertaken by the company “which are to focus on the Philippines’ Palawan Basin and progress the Galoc oil field development.”

    “While we are very excited about Galoc, we are also very keen to pursue our exploration activities in the other areas that we hold in the Philippines,” he said.

    “Of course this will not stop us from exploring other opportunities in the region. Asia is still relatively unexplored and given the high oil price environment, we see this as an opportunity to expand, capture and develop an exploration portfolio across the region.”

    Whitby earlier said the company was looking for strategic partners to “spread the risk and get more [exploration] activity.”

    Whitby said the company planned to unload 20 percent of its stake, cutting its exposure to the SCs to between 20 and 40 percent each.

    Nido also has a stake in SC 14 of between 22 and 30 percent and SC 6B with 8 percent. SC 14 and SC 6B cover over 100,000 hectares in Northwest Palawan.

    Nido, meanwhile, said was informed by Galoc Production Co. that Galoc-3 well was opened up and flowed oil to the surface yesterday.

    “The objective of this flow is to confirm the integrity of the well and the installed completion equipment as well as ascertain the well’s ability to flow,” Nido said.

    Galoc Production leads the exploration of the Galoc field in Palawan under Service Contract 14-C, which is estimated to contain 10 million barrels. It holds 58.29 percent of the service contract, with Nido owning 22.28 percent and Philodrill Corp., 6.4 percent.
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