The Recto Bank concession of SC 72 is located in the West Philippine Sea, west of Palawan Island and southwest of the Shell-operated Malampaya Gas Field. Formerly Geophysical Survey and Exploration Contract (GSEC) No. 101, SC 72 was awarded to Sterling Energy Ltd in June 2002 and covered an initial two-year term.
In April 2005, Forum Energy acquired the concession from Sterling and became its operator. In 2008, Monte Oro acquired a 30% interest in the block upon payment of a portion of the past costs and expenses of Forum Energy.
On 15 February 2010, the licence was converted to a Service Contract and Forum Energy immediately conducted geological and geophysical works to further evaluate the block and to fulfil its commitment to the government. SC 72 covers 8,800 square kilometers, which is 85% of the area of GSEC 101.
Exploration in the area began in 1970, and in 1976, gas was discovered in the Sampaguita structure following the drilling of a well. To date, a total of three wells have been drilled at the southwest end of the structure. Two of the wells tested gas at rates of 3.6 mmscf/d and 3.2 mmscf/d.
In mid-January to mid-March 2011, Forum Energy acquired 2,202 line-km of 2D seismic, gravity, and magnetic data over SC 72 to further define leads. Also, 565 square kilometers of 3D seismic data were acquired over the Sampaguita field.
The interpretation of these surveys was carried out by Weatherford Petroleum Consultants (“Weatherford”) in 2012. The report indicated the Sampaguita Gas Field to contain contingent resources of 2.6 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Gas in Place (GIP).
The 2D seismic data were reprocessed in 2013 and were subsequently interpreted, aided by gravity-magnetics data that were interpreted by Fugro (2012) and Cosine, Ltd. (2015). In 2015, Arex Energy produced a report on the North Bank area and estimated the prospective resources to be 3.1 TCF.
SC 72 has been under Force Majeure since 15 December 2014 due to the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute. Forum plans to drill two wells over the Sampaguita Field once the Force Majeure is lifted.