Ottoman builds Philippines empire

OTTOMAN Energy will soon control the largest publicly owned acreage offshore the Philippines, after announcing it will acquire the remaining 50% shareholding in the recently formed and unlisted NorAsian Energy.
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Late last year, Ottoman and its overseas joint venture partners – AustralAsian and RGA Resources – merged their Filipino petroleum assets to create NorAsian.

As a result of the move, NorAsian currently holds 15,000 square kilometres of acreage comprising a 100% interest in SC50 (Calauit oil field), an 80% interest in SC51 (Offshore Cebu) and an 85% interest in SC55 (Palawan Ultra Deep Water).

Ottoman will undertake a $A4.36 million underwritten rights issue to fund the acquisition and provide working capital.

In a statement to the ASX, Ottoman said NorAsian has also agreed to farm-out a 30% interest in each of the three permits to Canadian based Bentley International Oil. Bentley has agreed to pay $US9.5 million ($A12.7 million) for the interest, effectively valuing NorAsian’s 70% interest at $21.67 million.

Ottoman managing director Dr Jaap Poll said the acquisition would position his company as a major player in the Philippines and should enable it to become a significant oil producer, hopefully by the end of the year.

“In addition, the farm-out to Bentley on very attractive terms, demonstrates the current and growing industry interest in Philippines’ acreage,” he said.

“This also underpins an industry-based benchmark value, eliminates the company’s direct financial requirements and substantially reduces the company’s exploration and development risk and exposure going forward.

“Bringing the Calauit oil field on production will enable the company to self-fund its planned aggressive seismic and drilling programs in the years to come and to seek out similar production opportunities.”

Last October, Ottoman said the Calauit field, which contains a potential 370 million barrels of unrisked reserves, was expected to come on-stream at an expected initial rate of about 15,000 bbl of oil per day.