An Australian company has reported an oil discovery in its exploration within the boundaries of Carcar City and Aloguinsan town in southern Cebu.
But Energy officials in Cebu could not immediately confirm the oil find until they receive the official report.
Department of Energy Visayas Director Antonio Labios said he will reserve his comment and assessment on the discovery until he gets hold of the official report from their head office.
"Yes, there is drilling in Malolos, Carcar. But we do not have yet the official report so I will reserve my comment on the matter," Labios said.
Australian firm Gas2Grid Limited announced through its website that the Department of Energy has recognized the oil exploration in central Cebu as an oil discovery, as well as the DOE's extension of the firm's service contract for one year.
The recognition of the oil discovery opens the possibilities of the province having a commercial oil field.
"The Company advises that the Philippine Department of Energy has formally recognized Malolos-1 as an oil discovery and approved an extension of SC (Service Contract) 44 in order to conduct oil production with the aim of establishing a commercial oil field," the foreign oil producing firm said in a statement posted via www.gas2grid.com.
The Service Contract 44 extension, the Gas2Grid statement said, will take effect January 28 and will last for 12 months. SC 44 was issued in 2004.
The terms of the contract provides that the project covers 750 square kilometers of central Cebu, covering portions of Carcar City, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Toledo City, Naga City, Barili, Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal and Sibonga.
Malolos-1, which tested positive for oil production from two separate sandstone intervals, runs at the boundary of Carcar City and Aloguinsan town.
The potential oil volume spotted in the Malolos oil field, based on Gas2Grid's initial assessment, was described as "contingent resource" and ranges between a "low estimate" of 4 million barrels and a "high estimate" of 42 million barrels with the "best estimate" of 12 million barrels of "total oil in place."
With the extension of the contract, the company intends to conduct oil production testing for a longer period in order to establish its commercial viability.*PNA