Investors have offered to develop three areas in the West Philippine Sea under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program, according to the Energy Department.
The department sought counter proposals on the three areas that include Area 6 (1.432 million hectares), Area 7 (1.5 million hectares) and Area 8 (1.412 hectares) which are located within the West Philippine Sea.
“Interested counter-proponents [challengers] may likewise submit their application for the said nominated area in accordance with, and subject to the procedures and timelines stipulated under Department Circular DC 2017-12-0017,” the department said.
The department said challengers should submit complete application documents to the DOE Records Management Division, and pay the corresponding application (challenge) fee of P1 million.
Challengers are advised to submit the documents to the DOE Treasury Division on or before May 5 for Area 6 and May 8 for Area 7 and Area 8.
The department said the opening of the documents would be held at the DOE Audio-Visual Room (AVR) on the same day of submission deadline.
Under the PCECP, the awarding of service contracts are conducted either through the competitive selection process or via nomination.
For the nomination process, interested companies may submit their letter of intent for the proposed area for nomination. The agency will then notify the proponents to publish their nomination which will be subject to challenge within 60 days from publication.
“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.
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 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 cannot be at the mercy of global energy market volatilities and other geopolitical movements. In this light, we launched the Philippine Energy Contracting Program... to facilitate the exploration and development of our indigenous energy resources, and revitalize our upstream oil and gas sector,” Cusi said.
There are around 20 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 among the DOE operator-partners.
The Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project is the country’s the largest and most successful natural gas industrial project.