Otto’s Palawan block stake transfer taking ‘longer than expected’

Natural resources exploration company Red Emperor Resources is still waiting for a transfer of Otto Energy’s interest in Block SC 55, in the offshore Palawan Basin in the Philippines. 

Otto was the operator of SC 55 with 78.18% interest with partners Red Emperor Resources, with 15% interest, and Palawan 55, with 6.82% interest.

Following Otto’s announcement in January 2016 that the company would exit the SC 55 to focus on its North American assets, Red Emperor was left with a choice to either maintain its 15% participating interest in SC 55 or be assigned a percentage of Otto Energy’s interest on a pro-rata basis. Red Emperor then made plans to increase its working interest from 15% to 37.5%.

The company said on Monday that, after providing the Philippines Department of Energy with all relevant documentation for the transfer of Otto Energy’s equity interest in Block SC 55, Red Emperor has been awaiting formal approval and ratification for its equity interest to increase from 15% to 37.5%.

Subsequent to the half year end, the DoE has requested further information from Otto, which the Joint Venture believes it has already provided, Red Emperor said.

“Red Emperor continues to await the outcome of this process and acknowledges it has taken far longer than anticipated,” the company added in a statement.

In June last year, the DoE formally granted a two-year moratorium, until December 23, 2017, on required work activity under Service Contract 55.

During the moratorium period, the JV will conduct specialized geophysical studies in the area surrounding the Hawkeye Prospect, which encountered gas shows when it was drilled in August 2015.

Red Emperor said that although the Hawkeye well did not encounter gas in commercial quantities, it proved the presence of an active petroleum system in the contract area that hosts the “Cinco Prospect” as well as several other leads.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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