PH Launches New Petroleum Exploration Program

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) intensifies its thrust to develop the petroleum exploration industry for global competitiveness.

On 22 November (Thursday, PST), the DOE will launch the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) at the Shangri-La at the Fort Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “The DOE is aggressively pursuing the implementation of the PCECP so the country could establish a strong ‘Explore, Explore,  Explore’ program. We have been grossly trailing behind our neighbors in terms of petroleum exploration and development activities. It is high time that we step up. We need to attain energy security and sustainability to minimize our vulnerability to global oil price shocks. Harnessing our indigenous energy resources would also go far in helping us meet the country’s increasing energy demand as we continue to usher in economic progress.” 

Under the PCECP, there are two modes of application potential investors may pursue. 

First, interested parties may wish to bid on the 14 Pre-Determined Areas identified by the DOE (one in Cagayan, three in East Palawan, three in Sulu Sea, two in Agusan-Davao, one in Cotabato, and four in West Luzon). The application period is 180 days, and will be officially opened during the launch. 

Alternatively, the applicants could also nominate and publish other areas of interest. In this mode, applications could be submitted at any time of the year, and would be subjected to a 60-day challenge period. 

All accepted applications shall be evaluated by the DOE Centralized Review and Evaluation Committee based on the criteria pursuant to Department Circular No. DC2017-12-0017. 

Prior to the launch, the DOE conducted several roadshows to drum up awareness on the program, including an international roadshow held in Singapore last August. 

Last October, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the first service contract under his administration. Service Contract No. 76 covering Area 4 of Eastern Palawan was awarded to Israeli firm, Ratio Petroleum Ltd., signaling the push to revive the country’s upstream petroleum industry. 

There are currently 23 active petroleum service contracts in the Philippines with the following developers: Shell Philippines Exploration, Total E&P, PNOC-EC, Nido Petroleum, Philodrill, PXP Energy and Galoc Production Company. 

The largest and most successful natural gas industrial project in Philippine history is the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project.