Prime Exploration brings in ‘big gun’

Prime Exploration Pte. Ltd. (Prime Exploration), gaming tycoon Enrique K. Razon Jr.’s exploration arm, is building up its upstream oil expertise ahead of its buyout of the controlling stakes in the $4.5-billion Malampaya natural gas facility.

Prime Exploration announced Thursday that Sebastian C. Quiniones Jr., with over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas exploration sector, was appointed as general manager. He will lead the company’s management and operations recalibration as it prepares to take over the operatorship in Malampaya.

He was the former general manager and managing director of Shell Philippines Exploration B. V. (SPEX), the previous operator of the natural gas facility before the company divested its stakes.

“We are pleased to welcome Quiniones to the Prime Infra team. It reflects our commitment to ensure that, upon receiving the necessary regulatory approvals and taking over SPEX, we will deliver outstanding operational performance and further the potential of the Service Contract,” Prime Infra president and CEO Guillaume Lucci said.

“With his deep industry expertise and unparalleled experience, I am confident that Quiniones will help ensure that a critical power asset is steered to further development and progress,” he added.

Quiniones held different key positions in Shell for the past 41 years. From 2009 to 2016, he served as SPEX Managing Director and Asset Manager, overseeing the upgrade of the Malampaya asset, which involved $1 billion for two new production wells, a depletion compression platform and upgrades at the Shallow Water Platform and On-Shore Gas Plant.

Last month, Prime Exploration signed a share purchase agreement to acquire MEXP Holding Pte. Ltd. (MEXP) last month.

MEXP previously inked an agreement with Shell Petroleum N. V. (Shell) for the 45-percent stake of SPEX in the Malampaya project.

The acquisition is still subject to the consent of the PNOC Exploration Corporation (PNOC EC) and the Department of Energy.

Once the consent is given, and Prime Infra assumes full ownership and control of SPEX, Quiniones will work toward fulfilling the vision of Prime Infra in accelerating investments for the expansion of the Malampaya deep-water gas-to-power project.


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