Nido: Up to 450M Barrels in Coron North

Coron North Prospect
(Click to Enlarge)
Nido Petroleum Limited on Thursday issued an update on the ongoing exploration program in Service Contract 54 (SC 54), located offshore Palawan island in the Philippines. Nido and its joint venture partner, Yilgam Petroleum Philippines Pty Ltd, are jointly evaluating SC 54, focusing on two areas north of the permit.

The first area is covered by the recent 640-square-kilomter 3D seismic acquired as part of the "Abukay" 3D survey. The Coron North prospect is technically robust and shows potential for up to 450 million barrels of oil in place. The Princesa lead is also developing positively, together with a number of new "Princesa-style" leads, with the benefit of the high-quality 3D seismic.

The second area is the shallow waters in the eastern part of SC 54. Nido is focused on finding new opportunities here that may be quickly and inexpensively brought onto production to generate early cash flow. Nido has identified over 24 of these structures in SC 54, similar and nearby to those currently producing in the Nido oil fields, which may allow Nido the opportunity of rapid production and commercialization.

Currently more than 30 features have been identified within the focus areas outlined above and further work is planned to evaluate the southern areas of the permit.

Coron North Prospect

The 3D seismic interpretation has confirmed Coron North as a strong drilling opportunity. Oil-in-place volumes for Coron North are estimated at up to 450 million barrels based on a closure area of almost 15 square kilometers and reservoir quality from nearby wells.

Nido's Head of Exploration, Mr Jon Pattillo, said, "Nido is pleased that the 3D seismic is starting to deliver tangible exploration results, in particular the Coron North prospect, which is developing into an attractive drilling opportunity."

Although further technical and commercial analysis remains to be completed before Coron North is mature for drilling, Nido and its partner, Yilgarn, are excited by the strength and potential size of the structure as confirmed by the 3D seismic.

Princesa Lead

The 3D seismic data has confirmed the presence of the Pagasa turbidite play, including the large Princesa lead, in the western part of SC 54.

An additional 180 square kilometers 3D seismic program is planned in the third quarter of 2007 to determine the extent of this play and to confirm the reservoir architecture.

New Leads The high-quality 3D seismic has also uncovered a number of new leads similar to both the Coron North prospect and the Princesa lead, which provides greater upside potential within SC 54. Laurie Brown, Exploration Director of Yilgarn, said, "Early indications on the fast-track 3D for the presence of a number of large scale submarine fan targets within SC54 is extremely encouraging. The JV is instilled with significant confidence that from the evolving portfolio a range of drill-ready commercially attractive targets will mature."

Multiple Shallow Water Targets

Initial interpretation of the eastern portion of the permit has identified 24 pinnacle reef structures in less than 120 meters water depth, covered by Nido's pre-existing 3D seismic data. This reef trend is of particular interest given its proximity and similarity to the producing Nido oil fields. These pinnacle reef structures are potential candidates for rapid exploitation given the lower drilling and development costs afforded by the shallow water depths. Detailed technical and engineering work will be conducted over the next few months to determine the commerciality of these features.

Nido's Managing Director, Mr David Whitby said, "These results validate Nido's long-held belief in the prospectivity of SC 54 and the Palawan Basin as a whole. The opportunities currently being evaluated in SC 54 provide Nido with a significant prospect and lead portfolio from which to select a number of high-quality candidates for drilling in the next sub-phase of the Service Contract."

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