Otto Energy Ltd advised that BHP Billiton, as operator of Philippines Service Contract 55 (SC55), has requested that the Department of Energy (DOE) extend the current Exploration Sub-Phase 4 of SC55 by 18 months. If approved by the DOE, this would extend the current contractual deadline to complete drilling of the commitment well from August 5, 2012 to February 5, 2014.
BHP Billiton has requested this extension in order to secure an appropriate ultra deepwater rig with specialized well control equipment that will promote safe drilling operations on the proposed Cinco prospect. Availability of such rigs is currently limited and has been considered in the duration of the requested extension. The requested extension also is expected to provide time for post-well analysis prior to commitment to any subsequent Sub-Phase.
No specific date for commencement of drilling operations in SC55 can be given until a rig has been secured, however Otto maintains its longstanding view that SC55 holds significant hydrocarbon potential and the company looks forward to seeing the drilling program executed as soon as is safely possible. Further updates to shareholders will be provided as progress is made.
The working interests in Service Contract 55 are:
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