Exploration companies are eyeing an oil and gas prospect in the Visayas amid high oil prices in the world market, an official of the Energy Department said Wednesday.
A previous oil discovery is located in Western Panay that was owned by state-run Philippine National Oil Co.
“There is a small oil discovery in the island of Maniguin or Maningning west of Panay island. The well flowed 300 barrels of oil per day. This was drilled by PNOC in late 1990s. But it was not commercially viable due to cheap price of crude oil [then],” Energy director Ismael Ocampo said.
He said that with the price of crude peaking up, some companies “are now interested to develop this oil reserve.”
“Once this oil field is developed, it will surely enhance the economic growth of Panay island,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo said the Visayas oil and gas exploration prospect was not included in the pre-determined areas under the DoE’s Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program.
“The Philippines will be conducting the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program in November this year. With the expected depletion of Malampaya gas in 2024, we should now be looking and exploring for new gas reserves as a replacement to the Malampaya gas,” Ocampo said.
The Energy Department earlier conducted a road show in Singapore and plans to hold another in Cape Town, South Africa in November this year. Local road shows were also conducted in Palawan and Davao. The last road show will be conducted in Zamboanga.
The venues for the local roadshow were selected for being strategically located near some of the 14 pre-determined areas for potential petroleum exploration and development activities.
The PDAs include one area in the Cagayan Basin, three in Eastern Palawan, three in Sulu, two in Agusan-Davao, one in Cotabato and four in Western Luzon.
Aside from the 14 PDAs, the PCECP added an option to allow prospective investors to nominate areas outside of the PDA list.
“We have to be aggressive in our pursuit of achieving energy self-sufficiency as envisioned by the Duterte administration. Maximizing our exploration and development activities would help us keep up with energy sector developments and economic changes in the Asean region and worldwide,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said earlier.
Data from the DOE showed only five wells were drilled in the country annually, from the period 2007 to 2017. This put the Philippines behind neighboring countries in terms of drilling.
The Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project, under Service Contract 38, is the largest and most successful natural gas industrial project in the country, serving about 30 percent of the power requirements of Luzon. The gas discovery is expected to be depleted within the next decade.