Shell Exports Last Malampaya Test Oil

Shell will export its last cargo of Malampaya crude oil to Singapore in May, following the end of tests on the Philippines' most productive oilfield since the 1970s, a company source said on Thursday.

This will be the third shipment from the field and the first to be sold into Singapore, said a Shell Philippines Exploration Co. source. ``It will be brought into the Shell Bukom refinery. It will be the last batch of oil production from our extended well test.'' The refinery is located on an island south of Singapore.

The cargo of 600,000 barrels low sulphur Malampaya crude with specific gravity API number of 30, would be shipped out in the next two weeks and arrive in Singapore in May. The first two cargoes of Malampaya crude were sold into a ChevronTexaco Corp refinery (LG-Caltex) in South Korea.

The Malampaya gas field, located offshore near Palawan Island southwest of Manila, first spudded at 8,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December last year and has been producing at about 23,000-25,000 bpd since January. The Shell source said it had yet to decide if the field was commercial. ``We have studied the results. Depending on the results of the tests, we will decide whether it's commercial,'' the source said.

Estimate are that it could take the rest of the year for Shell to do that and the company would likely announce any results only in 2003. There has been no estimates of the field's potential reserves.

Shell and ChevronTexaco each have a 45 percent stake in Malampaya, with the remaining 10 percent owned by the Philippine government's PNOC Exploration Corp.


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