A change of operator of the Cadlao oilfield offshore the Philippines has prompted the remaining joint venture partners to accelerate a redvelopment project for the field.

Joint venture partner Sasgasco said its wholly-owned subsidiary Nido Petroleum has secured a sale and purchase agreement with previous operator Manta Oil "designed to accelerate the anticipated redevelopment of the Cadlao oilfield and exploration of the nearby East Cadlao oil prospect".

Nido will be the technical operator of Block SC6B while Philodrill Corporation will be the permit operator.

Manta's 70% operator interest is being acquired by the remaining JV partners whereby Philodrill will own 58.182% of the project, Nido (9.09%), Oriental (16.364%), Alcorn (8.182%) and Forum (8.182%).

Nido intends to prepare and submit a plan of development to the Philippines authorities in the first quarter of 2022.

This plan will include an extended well test starting in the second quarter of 2022 for data collection, resource volume confirmation and early cashflow.

A non-binding letter of intent has been received from the Russian drilling rig company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka for the Murmanskaya jack-up drilling rig, which is available in nearby Vietnam.

The extended well test will involve a single well, with production equipment situated on the jack-up drilling rig with oil being produced into a floating storage and offloading vessel or barge for shuttling to a local refinery.

There is also the opportunity to drill the East Cadlao Prospect from the Cadlao location.

Sacgasco’s managing director Gary Jeffery said: “I’m delighted that we have increased our interest and the JV has agreed to our technical operatorship of the Cadlao redevelopment. This will allow us to rapidly accelerate development planning whilst we also pursue farmin discussions to further increase our interest.

"We plan to submit a POD in the new year with a view to drilling the well for the extended well test in the first half 2022 which would be an extraordinary achievement by the team given usual industry timelines.

"All the pieces including the key team members are coming together rapidly. We have identified suitable equipment for an extended well test and initiated discussions with suppliers. This includes receiving a non-binding LOI for the drilling program with a jack up rig which is also suitable for the extended well test.”

Discovered in 1977, the Cadlao field produced 11.1 million barrels of oil from August 1981 to November 1991 from two subsea production wells; Cadlao-1A and Cadlao-3.

The field is defined by 2D seismic; it is a Miocene Pinnacle Reef reservoir; in water depths of between 20 and 80 metres.

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