First two PH oilfields closed down

The Nido and Matinloc oilfields in northwest Palawan ceased production after four decades, the Energy Department said Monday.

“The closing of Nido and Matinloc’s production comes after over 40 fruitful years. Throughout their operations, these two oilfields have contributed significantly to our country’s energy needs,”  Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.

This leaves Galoc and Malampaya as the remaining major petroleum-production areas in Palawan. The Alegria oilfield in southern Cebu produces minimal volume.  Previous oil discoveries in Tindalo, Cadlao, Tara and West Linapacan are no longer commercially producing oil, while the Camago field became part of the Malampaya natural gas project.

Energy officials participated in the closing ceremony for the Nido and Matinloc oilfields last week, which were hosted by service contract (SC) 14 A and B’s consortia, composed of The Philodrill Corp., Alcorn Petroleum, Oriental Petroleum, Nido Production, Phinma Energy and Forum Energy. 

Nido and MOPC were able to produce 18.9 million barrels of oil and 12.5 MMBO, respectively in more than four decades of production operations. 

Cities Service Inc. and its Filipino partners discovered commercial oil in what became the Nido A Field in the Nido limestone reservoir of service contract 14’s offshore area in July 1977.

The discovery of the Nido B Field followed in January 1978 while production commenced in February 1979 which marked the first commercial oil production in the Philippines. During its early stages, peak field production of Nido reached 40,000 barrels of oil per day. 

Meanwhile, the Matinloc oilfield was discovered in January 1979, followed by the Pandan and Libro discoveries in 1980 which led to the establishment of the Matinloc Oilfield Production Complex―the central hub of production operations. The North Matinloc oilfield was discovered and connected to the MOPC in 1988.  

“As this chapter comes to a close, we look forward to exciting times ahead as we continue our search for similar oil and gas projects that would help us attain energy security and fuel our continued development,”  Cusi said. 

The Energy Department has been wooing investors to the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program through the conduct of an international road show in the United Arab Emirates and other countries with the goal of spurring investor interest in the country’s upstream oil sector.

“The PCECP is a key program of the department to revitalize our upstream oil industry, which enables us to showcase what the country has to offer in terms of petroleum exploration. As we embark on the road towards energy self-sufficiency, we are in need of suitable partners who would help us harness our indigenous resources,” Cusi said earlier.

Under the PCECP nomination process, interested companies may submit their letter of intent for the proposed area for nomination. Thereafter, the agency will notify the proponents to publish their nomination which will be subject to challenge within 60 days from publication. 

“For an energy-secure future, the DOE is committed to ‘Explore, Explore, Explore!’ in the pursuit to energy independence, security, and sustainability through effective and reasonable development of all indigenous energy resources in the Philippines,” the department said earlier.

The opening of bids under PCECP in August resulted in three nominated areas in the Sulu Sea Basin, Ragay Gulf and Northeast Palawan Basin and four nominations of pre-determined areas in Sulu Sea, East Palawan and Cotabato.

There are 19 active petroleum service contracts in the Philippines with Shell Philippines Exploration, Total E&P, PNOC-EC, Nido Petroleum, Philodrill, PXP Energy and Galoc Production Company.

The Philippines is home to the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project in northwest Palawan, the largest and most successful natural gas industrial project in Philippine history.

Topics: Matinloc oilfields , Nido oilfields , Department of Energy , Alfonso Cusi
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