DOE still wooing oil, gas players


THE Department of Energy (DOE) will continue to encourage investors to conduct oil and gas exploration activities in the country, an official said.

DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido said a delegation will join a conference in Argentina next week. “We are going to Argentina to further market the areas. We will continue this effort in order to solicit interest and get as many areas as possible,” Pulido said, referring to the predetermined areas (PDAs) that were identified by the DOE or nominated areas that are not part of the list.

The DOE has so far received bid offers from seven groups that are interested to conduct petroleum exploration under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP).

Under the PCECP, investors may engage in upstream exploration or development activities in two ways: One, choosing an area from the 14 PDA offered by the DOE. Two, proposing their own areas for exploration, which begins by requesting for an Area Clearance.

The DOE is currently evaluating applications of Ratio Petroleum Limited, which submitted an offer for Area 3 (East Palawan Basin); Sulu Sea Energy Resources Development Corp. and Esmaulana Global  Ventures Co. Inc. for Area 6 (Sulu Sea Basin); and Philodrill Corp. and PXP Energy Corp. for Area 7 (Sulu Sea Basin).

Esmaulana  Global Ventures Co., Inc. also submitted a separate proposal for Area 10 (Agusan-Davao Basin).

For nominated areas, the DOE received offers from Sulu Sea Energy Resources Development Corp., which nominated Sulu Sea Basin; Troika Giant Power Corporation, which nominated Northwest Palawan Basin; and Superior Shipywards Inc., which nominated Southeast Luzon Basin.

The DOE said some firms had earlier nominated various areas in the disputed zones even before the agency accepted nominations.  Among such companies is PXP Energy, the operator of Service Contract 72 in Recto Bank.

“Despite the current situation involving the contentious areas, investors remain eager and committed to explore the area for petroleum resources. In fact, noteworthy companies, particularly Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. and NWP Ventures, both UK-based companies, have likewise nominated blocks for petroleum service contract applications within the disputed areas. Multiple companies, including Spanish firm Repsol, have also shown interest in farming in the West Philippine Sea area.

Many other interested parties are awaiting the government’s policy direction in the West Philippine Sea and have expressed their desire to explore the area should the current Moratorium due to Force Majeure be lifted,” said the DOE.

Other areas of interest include the Sulu Sea, Quezon province, Ragay Gulf, and Mindoro.

“We do have an existing territorial dispute. In the discussions that we’ve had with different agencies around the world, we do recognize that the Philippines is not exactly marketable. So there is difficulty, there is a challenge there and we are working on that,” said Pulido.

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