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Nido Petroleum Limited (ASX: NDO) Nido to Drill Exploration Well in Service Contract 63

Nido to Drill Commitment Well in SC63
 
Highlights:
- Nido Board approves the Company’s entry into the next Sub-Phase of its SC 63 exploration program.
- This Sub-Phase includes the drilling of a commitment well with Joint Venture partner, PNOC Exploration Corporation.
 
Nido Petroleum Limited (ASX: NDO), on behalf of the SC 63 Joint Venture, is pleased to announce Board approval to enter into the next Sub-Phase of the SC 63 exploration program.
 
Sub-Phase 2b of SC 63, commencing on 24 May 2011, carries a one well commitment to be drilled not later than 24 November 2012 and represents the next prospect in Nido’s five well exploration program. Nido’s Joint Venture partner in the block is PNOC Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC). The Joint Venture will now finalise the selection of a drilling target, seek to confirm rig contracts and plan a drilling schedule. At this stage, the current drilling window identified by the Joint Venture is between December 2011 and March 2012.
 
SC 63 is located at the north-east end of the Tertiary-aged offshore fold and thrust belt, which is a prolific hydrocarbon province. The belt extends from Brunei through Sabah, Malaysia and into the southern Palawan basin, Philippines.
 
Nido holds a 50% working interest in the SC 63 block. During the previous Sub-Phase, subsurface work in SC 63 focused on the acquisition, processing and interpretation of the 754 sq km ‘Kawayan’ 3D seismic survey located over the southern sector of the block, around the Aboabo A-1X gas discovery (Phillips 1980).
 
The 'Kawayan' 3D seismic has substantially improved seismic image quality and greatly mitigated structural risk which is considered a key subsurface risk in the block. Consequently, numerous play types and structures are emerging from the 3D data set in a distinct subsurface fairway in water depths between 70 metres to 500 metres. Work is now focussed on maturing the top five Leads to Prospect status from which the drilling candidate can be selected during the year.
 
Jon Pattillo, Head of Exploration, commented: “The complex geological nature of the block has required Nido and partner PNOC-EC to spend considerable time and effort on the processing of the 3D seismic data in order to maximise seismic image quality. We have been able to achieve this important objective and it is paying dividends in terms of the potential prospectivity emerging as we progress our detailed subsurface interpretations”.
 
Nido intends to fund its 50% share of the campaign through its existing cash reserves and positive cashflow generation from Galoc production. Furthermore, the high equity interests that the Company owns in its other permits present significant farm-out opportunities.
 
Jocot de Dios, President and CEO, said: “SC 63 is an important block in our NW Palawan exploration strategy. The block features two of the prospects in our current five well program. Drilling will commence at our first prospect, Gindara-1, in the adjacent SC 54B, in May 2011. SC 63 covers highly-prospective acreage which is significantly under-explored and is located in close proximity to multiple commercial discoveries. We are excited to be drilling our well in SC63 with partner PNOC-EC. They have worked closely with our Company to mature the different prospects and leads in this block”.
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