The Department of Energy endorsed two oil and gas exploration applications with total investments of $50 million for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The applications are part of the agency’s Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program, which aims to boost investment opportunities in oil and gas exploration activities and develop indigenous petroleum resources within undisputed Philippine sovereign territory.
“A total of two applications—one from an area nomination located in Northwest Palawan and one from a pre-determined area in Eastern Palawan, with total investments of about $50 million, were recommended for approval/awarding by President Duterte,” according to the latest report of the DOE.
The DOE did not disclose the names of the PCECP applicants. Under the PCECP, the awarding of service contracts are conducted through a competitive selection process or nomination.
In the nomination process, interested companies may submit their letter of intent on 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.
The department sought bids to explore oil and gas in the Sulu Sea Energy for Area 1, northwest Palawan for Area 2, Southeast Luzon for Area 3 , Northeast Palawan for Area 4 and Mindoro-Cuyo basin for Area 5 under the competitive selection process.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi seeks to reinvigorate the petroleum exploration and development activities in the country to serve as a cushioning measure against the volatility of oil prices, which have 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 earlier.
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 as among the few DOE operator-partners.