Since the acquisition of the East Sabina 2D seismic program in late 2007, the SC 63 joint venture has made significant strides in the subsurface interpretation of the block. This work has identified the south-west sector of the block around the Aboabo A1-X gas discovery (Phillips 1981) as having significant exploration potential. Multiple leads have been mapped at the shallow Miocene-aged play fairway (found gas-bearing at Aboabo A-1X) and at the deeper, untested Nido Limestone play fairway level. The maturation of these leads to prospect level and potential drilling candidates is the primary focus of the 3D seismic program.

Pre-survey operations commenced some weeks before the arrival of the MV ‘Pacific Orient’ into SC 63 with the acquisition of a high resolution bathymetric survey over the 3D seismic area. This survey was an important prelude to the current 3D operations, providing detailed information on the location of sea-bed features such as reefs and shallow shoals, and a key part of the SC 63 joint venture’s HSE and Environmental Risk Management planning for the survey.

Jon Pattillo Nido Petroleum’s Head of Exploration commented “SC 63 overlies the north-east extension of the prolific oil and gas basins offshore Sabah where the SC 63 Joint Venture has identified similar plays based on the broad-spaced East Sabina 2D seismic. The new 3D will allow the Joint Venture to mature the numerous leads identified around the intriguing Aboabo A-1X gas discovery to prospect status from which the SC 63 joint venture can select potential drilling candidates.”