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Abstract: Visayan Basin--The Birthplace of Philippine Petroleum Exploration Revisited

Freddie G. Rillera, E. F. Durkee

Petroleum exploration in the Philippines has its roots in the Visayan Basin in the central Philippines. This is a Tertiary basin with up to 30,000 feet of sedimentary fill.

With numerous surface oil and gas manifestations known as early as 1888, the area was the site of the first attempts to establish commercial petroleum production in the country. Over the past 100 years, more than 200 wells have been drilled in the basin. Several of these have yielded significant oil and gas shows. Production, albeit noncommercial in scale, has been demonstrated to be present in some places.

A review of past exploration data reveals that many of the earlier efforts failed due to poorly located tests from both structural and stratigraphic standpoints. Poor drilling and completion technology and lack of funding compounded the problems of early explorationists. Because of this, the basin remains relatively underexplored.

A recent assessment by COPLEX and E. F. Durkee and Associates demonstrates the presence of many untested prospects in the basin. These prospects may contain recoverable oil and gas potential on the order of 5 to 10 MMBO onshore and 25 to 100 MMBO offshore. With new exploration ideas, innovative development concepts, and the benefit of modern technology, commercial oil and gas production from the basin may yet be realized.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90982©1994 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 21-24, 1994