PNOC Exploration Corp., the upstream oil and coal arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co., has bagged three new contracts to explore and develop prospective coal blocks in Mindanao.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday, PNOC-EC reported that it was awarded by the Department of Energy Coal Operating Contract (COC) Nos. 184, 185 and 186, which were all offered under the fourth Philippine Energy Contracting Round.
According to PNOC-EC, COC 184 (offered as Area 19B) covered 3,000 hectares in Trento, Agusan del Sur and Lingig, Surigao del Sur.
COC 185 (or Area 29), meanwhile, covers 2,000 hectares in the municipalities of Buug and Malangas in Zamboanga Sibugay.
This COC includes two coal blocks in the northeastern part of the Malangas coal district, where PNOC-EC’s underground coal mines are operating under the development and production phase.
COC 186 (Area 30A), on the other hand, is composed of five coal blocks spanning 5,000 hectares of land in the municipalities of Imelda and Malangas, also in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Data from the DOE showed that the Philippines has coal reserves of about 446 million metric tons.
The DOE wants local resources to be harnessed for the country to reduce the importation of expensive petroleum products and bolster energy security. Amy R. Remo