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Total of France has farmed into a block stretching into frontier ultra-deepwaters offshore the Philippines as part of its strategy to expand into new exploration plays worldwide.
The company said its subsidiary Total E&P Philippines B.V. had signed a farm-out agreement with Malaysia-based independent Mitra Energy (Philippines SC-56) Ltd. to acquire a 75% interest in offshore Block SC56 in the Sulu Sea.
The block covers a total area of around 4,300 sq km (1,660 sq miles) in water depths ranging from 200-3,000 m (656-9,843 ft). Mitra will retain a 25% interest in the permit.
“With this new acquisition, Total continues to pursue its strategy to further expand its acreage in significant potential plays in new exploration areas, notably in deep offshore Asia Pacific,” said Jean-Marie Guillermou, senior vice president of E&P for Asia Pacific.
A new exploration phase will start Sept. 1. Mitra will initially operate seismic works including the reprocessing of existing data and the 3D acquisition of an additional 500 sq km (193 sq miles), after which the operatorship will be transferred to Total for the drilling phase.
The transaction is subject to approval by the authorities of the republic of Philippines.