Home

 

A NEW contracting round is in the works for petroleum and coal, the Department of Energy (DoE) said on Wednesday, in a move that the agency hopes to create wealth for the industry to fund more energy development projects.


Inline image 7

Ismael U. Ocampo, assistant director of the DoE’s energy resource development bureau (ERDB), said the government hopes the new contracting program will discover another Malampaya, which supplies a number of power generation plants that deliver about 20% of the country’s electricity requirements.

“We will be conducting the energy contracting program for petroleum and coal, and we are targeting December as our launching month. So hopefully we’ll be discovering additional reserves,” said Ismael U. Ocampo, assistant director of the DoE’s energy resource development bureau (ERDB).

He made the statement during a press conference to launch the department’s information campaign called “E-Power Mo” at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Mr. Ocampo said the program would be the sixth Philippine Energy Contracting Round, a competitive system of awarding service contracts for petroleum and coal prospecting areas.

During the press conference, Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella described ERDB as “the bureau that creates wealth for all of us. “If the bureau discovers something” the energy resource development fund becomes bigger, he added.

“As far as the moratorium (in disputed areas) is concerned, we have always deferred to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs). In the conduct of this [contracting program] it will be subject to clearance from the DFA,” he said.

Mr. Ocampo said he hopes the new contracting program will discover another Malampaya, referring to the offshore Palawan gas find that supplies a number of power generation plants in Batangas that deliver about 20% of the country’s electricity requirements. The government receives a portion of the revenue from the project.

He said the areas to be offered under the new contracting program include parts of the West Philippine Sea, Sulu sea and areas around Palawan province. In the fifth round the DoE offered 11 areas with a total scope of about 4.8 million hectares.

Mr. Ocampo expects issues in the past contracting rounds to be resolved, including the lifting of a moratorium on oil exploration in parts of the West Philippine Sea. The ban was imposed by the DoE as some contract areas fell within the scope of the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China.

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in the Netherlands ruled that Reed Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone as defined under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Mr. Ocampo said he expects the moratorium to be lifted before December. He said he received information that the DFA was drafting a “directive” instructing the DoE to resume oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

He said the department will try to conduct seismic tests in the area and if China does not complain, then exploration might proceed. He said Filipino fishermen in the area were able to fish unhampered. He said he would be following up with the DFA on the status of its directive.

Reference:

Saulon, V. V. (July 13, 2017).  New oil and coal contracting round to cover 4.8-M ha. prospecting area. Business World. Retrieved from http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=new-oil-and-coal-contracting-round-to-cover-4.8-m-ha.-prospecting-area&id=148182

DOE Website Feeds