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By Maryelle Demongeot
SINGAPORE, Feb 28 The Philippines' 17,500
barrels per day (bpd) Galoc oilfield will start commercial
production in April, slightly behind plans for a first-quarter
launch, an executive with Nido Petroleum Ltd (NDO.AX) said on
The new crude will raise the Philippines' domestic crude
oil output by some 70 percent to up to 42,500 bpd and will
provide the first major crude oil addition to the Asia-Pacific
region this year.
"Wells are now ready for production services in April
2008," Jon Pattillo, head of exploration for Australia's Nido
Petroleum, which holds a 22.279 percent in the development,
told an industry conference in Singapore.
Two wells, Galoc-3 and Galoc-4, were completed earlier this
month. Galoc-4 flowed at 6,150 bpd and Galoc-3 at 5,200 bpd,
operator Galoc production company said in statements earlier
this month (www.galoc.com).
The light sweet crude, with a 35 American Petroleum
Institute (API) gravity will be marketed by European trader
Vitol, a partner in the field, said a company official last
Around 240,000 bpd of new sweet crude are expected to come
onstream in Asia this year, well below oil demand in the
Benchmark Malaysian Tapis crude settled at a record-high of
$104.00 a barrel on Wednesday, according to Reuters
calculations, above over other bellwethers, which also hit
records, reflecting the higher quality of Asia-Pacific grades.
Pattillo said the timing for the Galoc field to come on
stream could not have been better. "With $100 oil, the timing
is perfect," he told the 13th Asia Upstream Conference.
Pattillo had predicted at the same conference last year
that Galoc could come online in the fourth quarter of 2007 and
other officials said later in the year the field would start
during the first quarter of this year.
Pattillo told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference
the timing had slipped from the year-ago plans because of
delays in drilling the wells.
The country consumes about 330,000 bpd, which forces it to
rely on expensive crude imports.
Other partners in the Galoc field, located in the Northwest
Palawan basin, offshore Philippines, include several Philippine
companies, Australia's Otto Energy (OEL.AX) and Vitol.
(Editing by Ramthan Hussain)