PNOC begins tests on Isabela gas find

State-owned PNOC-Exploration Corp. is set to complete tests on the commercial viability of the Mangosteen-1 well gas prospect in Santiago City, Isabela.

PNOC Exploration president Pedro Aquino Jr. told reporters the company informed the Energy Department of the six-month test period that would end December.

“We’re asking for six months to make an appraisal of the well, to determine how much the gas reserve we have,” Aquino said.

PNOC Exploration, the oil and gas exploration unit of PNOC declared the gas discovery in July.

“We declared discovery, the next phase is declaration of commerciality,

whether its really commercially viable to produce the gas,” Aquino said.

Aquino said the tests would assess the reserves of the Mangosteen-1 gas well. “If we will drill another well, we will know [by then],” he said.

The Energy Department earlier confirmed gas flowed from the Mangosteen-1 well prospect in Santiago City, Isabela but more tests were needed to determine actual recoverable resource.

The department said in a statement the gas that flowed from the Mangosteen-1 well merely confirmed the discovery of gas in the area.

“However, stimulation testing should be conducted to get more accurate estimate of the  volume, optimal flow rate and other relevant reservoir properties and the commercial viability of the prospect,” it said.

Energy Resources Development Bureau director Rino Abad said service contract 37 operator PNOC-Exploration, during seismic studies undertaken in March prior to the drilling of the well, estimated the Mangosteen prospect to contain recoverable resource potential of about 71 billion cubic feet of gas, much higher than the 4 BCF reserve of the San Antonio gas field in the same area.

PNOC Exploration previously operated the San Antonio gas field under SC 37 that produced 3.54 billion cubic feet of gas and supplied the 3-MW San Antonio gas power plant. The power station supplied electricity to about 10,000 households in the towns of Echague, Jones and San Agustin and Santiago City.

The San Antonio gas field was shut down in July 2008 “due to exhaustion of gas reserves.

Abad said the Mangosteen gas prospect would need more testing to determine the field’s actual reserves.

Latest information from a source said the prospect was estimated to contain only 20 billion cubic feet of gas reserves.

Abad said PNOC Exploration conduct “well cleaning” after failing to flow gas in commercial volumes “due to restricted flow of gas from the formation.”

PNOC Exploration flowed and flared gas twice for only a short period from the accumulated gas in the separator.

The company currently holds 100 percent of SC 37, which covers 360 square kilometers in the Cagayan Basin covering Santiago City, Isabela and Quirino provinces.

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