DOE awarded SC 59 to PNOC EC on 13 January 2006. It covers an area of 14,760 km2 and located in offshore Southwest Palawan, north of the deep-water gas discoveries in offshore Malaysia.
PNOC EC holds 100% participating interest and operatorship.
In 2006, PNOC EC acquired about 2,000 km of 2D seismic data to promote the area. In 2009, BHP farmed-in acquiring 75% working interest and operatorship. BHP has been operating the Service Contract since then, until they withdrew in 2013. As part of their commitment, BHP acquired 3,000 km2 of 3D and 5,000 km of 2D seismic data. Their seismic program, one of the largest by a single company in the Philippines, resulted in several drillable targets.
All seismic commitment under SC 59 have been complied with, including the 3,000 km 2D acquired by PNOC EC in 2016. The 2016 2D data includes gravity and magnetic data. These data are intended to identify shallow-water drilling targets to complement the deepwater prospects.
In 2018, DOE approved the suspension of SC 59’s work obligations in SC 59 based on force majeure, until the resolution of the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute. During the suspension PNOC EC continued its technical evaluation of the block with the interpretation of 2016 MC2D data. The interpretation resulted in the identification of several prospects and leads in the shallow water area.
DOE lifted the force majeure on 14 October 2020. PNOC EC is currently discussing with DOE to grant additional time to fulfil its outstanding commitment.