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London-based Firm denies hunting oil in Spratlys
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:50:44 PM »
London-based Forum Energy denies hunting oil in Spratlys
By Marie S. Neri

London-based Forum Energy Plc.denies that its drilling and exploration activities are within the controversial Spratlys island.

In a statement, Forum said the contract awarded to them by the Department of Energy under the Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) 101 was not located in the Spratlys Group of islands.

GSEC 101, which was recently converted to Service Contract (SC) 72, covers 880,000 hectares in the Reed Bank basin. Reed Bank is at least 150 kilometers east of the Spratlys and is closer to the island of Palawan, Forum said.

The company also said that SC 72 was within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) identified under Republic Act No. 9522, or the Philippine Archipelagic Baseline Law, signed on March 10, 2009.

RA 9522 defines the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines, while affirming Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction over these areas which include SC 72.

Reed Bank has been subject of numerous exploration campaigns in the past under the Philippine contractual regime and P.D. 87.

The first petroleum contract in the area was awarded by the then Ministry of Energy in 1975.

The following year, the first of the seven wells was drilled. Over 6,000 kms of 2D seismic and some 250 sq. kms of 3D seismic have been acquired both by foreign and Filipino companies through exploration contracts signed by the Philippine government.

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