The Energy Department recommended the awarding of five applications for oil and gas exploration under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program.
“Currently, there are five applications that are recommended to award for a petroleum service contract. But due to the ongoing bilateral discussions with BARMM [Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao], two applications were put on hold,” the department’s Energy Resource Management Bureau said.
PCECP is a transparent petroleum service contract awarding mechanism that allows the government to develop and utilize indigenous petroleum resources under a service contract with qualified local and international exploration companies.
The awarding of service contracts are conducted either through the competitive selection process or nomination.
The DOE has been wooing investors to participate in the PCECP to promote energy security and reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuel.
“We actively welcome all PCECP applications, as each one has the potential to bring us closer to desire to maximize the exploration, development and utilization of our indigenous energy resources to help us attain energy security and independence,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said earlier.
Among the companies that were earlier nominated for oil and gas exploration were Israeli firm Repsol Exploracion S.A., Sulu Sea Energy Resources Development Corp., Philodrill Corp., PXP Energy Corp., Mindanao-based Esmaulana Global Ventures Co. Inc., Troika Giant Power Corp. and Superior (SG) Shipyards Inc.
The department is pushing to reinvigorate petroleum exploration and development activities in the country to serve as a cushioning measure against the volatility of oil prices which has a direct impact on the costs of transport and power.
“We need to increase exploration and development activities in the Philippines so that our can become energy self-sufficient. The DOE is continuously pushing for the success of the PCECP for the effective, responsible and reasonable development of all our indigenous energy resources,” Cusi said earlier.
The Philippines has around 20 active petroleum service contracts with various players such as Shell Philippines Exploration, Total E&P, PNOC-EC, Nido Petroleum, Philodrill, PXP Energy and Galoc Production Company.
The Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project off Palawan’s shores is the largest and most successful natural gas industrial project in Philippine history.