THE exploration arm of Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC-EC) is now in talks with four foreign firms for possible partnership for the Mindoro oil and gas exploration projects.

Leocadio Ostrea, PNOC-EC vice president, said the discussion is for possible farm agreement for its service contract in offshore Mindoro and East Sabina.

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“We are in talks to three to four foreign firms for the offshore Mindoro block under service contract 47,” Ostrea told reporters.

SC 47 has a total area of 14,667 square kilometers in offshore Mindoro. The Department of Energy awarded them the contract last July 2005.

PNOC-EC took over the exploration of SC 47 after Malaysia decided to sell its stake due to disappointment on the results of the Kamia 1 well drilled in 2007.

At present, PNOC-EC controls 97 percent of SC 47 and their partners Petro Energy Resources Corp. and Basic Energy Corp. holds two percent and one percent participating interests respectively.

On the other hand, PNOC-EC is still finalizing details as well as the scale of the shares they will farm out.

Meanwhile, Ostrea said the company is also discussing possible farm in agreements with several foreign investors for SC 63 or the East Sabina block.

"We're still talking especially with potential on the percentage (of the farm-in agreement) especially who will be the operator. We're still negotiating," he said.

SC 63 covers an area of 10,560 square kilometers located in offshore southwest Palawan.

PNOC-EC also owns10 percent stake in the Malampaya gas field under SC 38, which fuels three natural gas power plants with a capacity of 2,700MW as well as service contract 59 (West Balabac), SC 43 (Ragay Gulf), SC 57 (Calamian) and SC 58 (West Calamian). (MSN/Sunnex)