BHP set to win oil/gas deal

The Philippines is likely to grant an oil and gas exploration and development contract to a consortium led by a unit of BHP Billiton, Energy Secretary Vincent Perez has said. Perez said he was optimistic that an agreement would be finalised soon, boosting the Philippines’ efforts to tap local resources and cut its dependence on imported oil. The Philippines boasts huge reserves of natural gas at its Malampaya offshore field in the SW part of the country, but imports nearly all its estimated requirement of 330,000 barrels per day of crude and oil products. Besides BHP Billiton Petroleum, consortium members include Unocal Corp., Amerada Hess and Sandakan Oil, he said. The consortium bid for two blocks in the deepwater part of the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippines in March, part of 46 oil and gas exploration blocks offered by the Philippine government to prospective investors.

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