Otto Energy Ltd advised that BHP Billiton, as operator of Philippines Service Contract 55 (SC55), has requested that the Department of Energy (DOE) extend the current Exploration Sub-Phase 4 of SC55 by 18 months. If approved by the DOE, this would extend the current contractual deadline to complete drilling of the commitment well from August 5, 2012 to February 5, 2014.
BHP Billiton has requested this extension in order to secure an appropriate ultra deepwater rig with specialized well control equipment that will promote safe drilling operations on the proposed Cinco prospect. Availability of such rigs is currently limited and has been considered in the duration of the requested extension. The requested extension also is expected to provide time for post-well analysis prior to commitment to any subsequent Sub-Phase.