South East Asia - Background
In 1995 Mr. Fellowes reviewed opportunities in South East Asia, particularly the Philippines, in the light of a major oil and gas discovery being made by Occidental and Shell at the giant Malampaya Field, offshore Palawan Island.
The Malampaya-1 discovery was the first deep water well drilled in the Philippines (in 4500 feet of water). Recoverable reserves are reported to be in the order of 3.0 TCF of gas and approximately 300 million barrels of light sweet crude oil.
Mr. Fellowes was instrumental in forming a Philippine registered company known as Coplex Philippines ("Cophil") which was subsequently listed on the Philippines stock exchange and later sold to local investors.
Following the listing and sale of Cophil, a further oil and gas exploration company known as Coplex Energy
Corporation ("Coenco") was registered in the Philippines and began acquiring Licenses in the Philippines. Amongst other areas, Coenco participated in SC42, the License adjacent to the Malampaya discovery, but in much shallower water.
In 2002, MEPS entered into an agreement with Coenco to acquire a portion of Coenco's interest in SC42 in exchange for carrying Coenco's costs during 2002 and 2003. Reprocessing of seismic and shooting of new 2D and 3D surveys has resulted in the recognition of a large stucture known as the Coron North prospect, which lies adjacent to Malampaya, but in only 800 feet of water.
The pipeline from Malampaya to Manila (the main market for Malampaya gas) passes over the Coron North prospect, providing the opportunity to tie in any gas discovered to the Philippine market. However, given the water depth, and the much shallower target horizons, it is considered that the Coron North prospect will most likely be oil, rather than gas.
In 2004 the operator of SC42 had not secured a farmin partner to drill the Coron Structure and MEPS elected not to continue with its involvement in SC42.
In mid 2004 the SC42 consortium relinquished the northern half of SC42 containing the Calauit Fields. An extended production test in 1997 resulted in stabalised flow of 6,500 BOPD with no water cut. Production was increased to over 9,000 BOPD which resulted in an 11% water cut. Subsequently the operator elected to increase the production rate over 10,000 BOPD which resulted in water coning and a high water cut.
In January 2005, MEPS formed a wholly owned subsidiary known as AustralAsian Energy Limited, which is now active in the Philippines.