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2020 Year-end Update

Despite unprecedented conditions and adverse restrictions to conduct business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, significant progress was achieved in 2020 across the different Service Contracts of Philodrill.  With the Government’s directive for an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on the entire island of Luzon on March of 2020, Philodrill and its Joint Venture Partners implemented arrangements and operational protocols in line with Government guidelines, as well as strategies to sustain business continuity amidst a volatile environment that saw a steep decline in crude oil prices.

Production operations at the Galoc field in SC 14C1 maintained a high level of efficiency throughout the year despite the operational challenges presented by the COVID 19 pandemic.  The production operations achieved 0% unplanned downtime resulting in 694,673 barrels of oil produced at year-end against the 688,000 barrels that were forecasted in the 2020 WP&B.  Philodrill’s participating interest (PI) increased from 7.21495% to 10.17782% with the pro-rata assignment of GPC 2’s (Kufpec) PI when the latter withdrew from the joint operations/SC in September.  In December, GPC resigned as operator and nominated Nido, which recently changed its name to NPG Pty Ltd. (NPG) as successor operator.


Galoc Production Area Floating Production and Storage Vessel

The Seismic Inversion and Reservoir Characterization project in the north block of SC 6A was completed in mid-December.  The stochastic inversion, used to characterize the thinly bedded sands of the GCU, generated promising results and highlighted potential areas of key interest in the vicinity of the Malajon-1 well.  Zones exhibiting a high probability of pay were identified within the GCU and are considered plausible locations for well drilling.  

In SC 6B, Manta Oil Corporation (MOC), operator of the SC, completed a comprehensive technical subsurface review using the 2016 PSTM reprocessed 3D seismic data.  The recent subsurface mapping work on the Cadlao structure resulted in an improved P50 STOIIP, with an increase of 15% from previous volumetrics. Several tender processes to select potential service providers for the Cadlao Redevelopment Project were also carried out in 2020.

For SC 14, The P&A operation for the Nido A-1 and A-2 wells took place in the latter part of September to early October.  The P&A vessel ENA Wizard was mobilized on September 20 from Singapore.  Despite some delays due to the strict requirement by the Singaporean, Malaysian, and Philippine authorities for all the P&A technical crew to undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine, the P&A was completed on the 5th of October 2020 within budget of the reprogrammed P&A work and without any incidents.  The program completed the final plug and abandonment campaign of the production wells at the Nido-Matinloc area.  At year-end, the SC 14 consortia was in the process of approving a joint resolution for the abandonment and surrender of the service contracts covering the Tara, Libro, Pandan, Nido, Matinloc, and North Matinloc production areas, including the retention block.

The SC 14C2 joint venture entered a Farm-out and Sale Purchase agreement with an independent oil & gas production, development, and exploration company, for the redevelopment of the West Linapacan Field. The process of finalizing the Deeds of Assignment resulting from these agreements and its submission to the Department of Energy (DOE) for approval was significantly delayed by the COVID 19 situation.  While all these were on-going, Philodrill was able to complete the technical evaluation of the West Linapacan B structure.  A final report of the work was included in the August 26th submission of the SC 14C2 accomplishment report to the DOE.

The DOE continued with the evaluation of the merits of the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) on the termination of SC 53.  The non-operator partners, Philodrill, Anglo, and Basic, filed the MR with the DOE in June of 2019.  Meanwhile, Philodrill continued to administer the SC during the evaluation of the MR.  On February 28, 2020, Basic notified the DOE of its withdrawal from the MR.  This was followed by their March 10, 2020 letter to the partners informing the same and the settlement of their remaining liabilities to the consortium.  Basic’s withdrawal resulted in the restructuring of the Participating Interests, and will take effect once the MR is approved by the DOE:



PI pre-Basic Withdrawal (%)

PI post-Basic Withdrawal (%)























The request of the operator, PXP Energy (PXP) for a one-year extension of the current Sub-Phase (SP) 3 until December 13, 2020, for SC 74 was approved by the DOE on March 12, 2020.  The extension was requested to enable the JV to complete the on-going technical evaluation works before deciding to enter the succeeding SP4 that requires a well commitment.  The JV completed the Phase 2 Joint Impedance Facies Inversion (JiFi) of the Quantitative Interpretation (QI) work with IKON Science in mid-June. The project completion was delayed for 1.5 months because of the challenges from working remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Despite the difficulties encountered, the JiFi process managed to adequately predict lithological facies at the wells and allowed a porosity model to be derived over the area.  The project for the biostratigraphic and geochemistry analyses of rock samples from the Calamian Islands field work likewise progressed, in spite of setbacks due to the pandemic, and was completed with Core Lab in the latter part of October. Due to the delays in the completion of the work programs, a request was submitted to the DOE for the imposition of a Force Majeure over SC 74 for nine (9) months starting from 13 March 2020 to 12 December 2020, citing the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business operations and implementation of SC 74 work activities. The request was approved in July 2020, resulting to an extension of the sub-phase to September 2021.

The DOE placed in abeyance the processing and awarding of service contract applications/bids and approval of energy projects in areas under the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).  The decision covered Area 7 in Sulu Sea for which the joint application submitted by Philodrill and PXP Energy, under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contract Program (PCECP), qualified for further technical, legal, and financial evaluation. The year ended with Philodrill continuing to await for the DOE’s advice on the awarding of Area 7 and all other areas covered by the BARMM.

Philodrill continued to compile and review available exploration data on the deep-water areas offshore Northwest Palawan covered by the previous Swan Block.  This is in line with the Company’s planned participation in exploration ventures on the deep-water blocks in the West Philippine Sea region.


Service Contract Areas

  • SC6A - Octon Area
  • SC6B - Bonita Block
  • SC14A - Nido
  • SC14B - Matinloc
  • SC14B1 - North Matinloc
  • SC14C1 - Galoc
  • SC14C2 - West Linapacan
  • SC14D - Retention Block
  • SC74 - Linapacan
  • Tara Block
  • SC53 - Onshore Mindoro
  • Swan Block
  • Sulu Sea - formerly SC41

For more information on these blocks, go to News / Updates Section of this website

For participating interests of these service contracts, please click here.