Philippines extends permit to allow time for ultra deepwater drill rig charter

The Philippines Department of Energy has extended for one year an existing permit for exploration Sub-Phase 4 in SC55.

Offshore staff

SYDNEY, Australia –The Philippines Department of Energy has extended for one year an existing permit for exploration Sub-Phase 4 in SC55.

Operator BHP Billiton (NYSE:BBL) requested the extension in order to secure an appropriateultra deepwater rig with specialized well control equipment it wants for safe drilling on the proposed Cinco prospect within SC55.

After the extension, Sub-Phase 4 and one committed well will be drilled by Aug. 5, 2013. Sub-Phase 5 calls for another well then to be drilled by Aug. 5, 2014.

The working interests in Service Contract 55 areOtto Energy (ASX: OEL) through wholly owned subsidiary NorAsian Energy Ltd, 33.18%; BHP Billiton Petroleum (Philippines) Corp., 60%; and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., 6.82%.

5/24/2012

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