3 mining firms bag 7 coal exploration deals offered by DOE
MANILA, Philippines–Three mining companies won the seven coal exploration and development sites offered during the first phase of the Department of Energy’s auction of energy contracts.
During the awarding of the coal segment of the 5th Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR5) on Thursday in Taguig City, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla identified the three firms as CoalBlack Mining Corp., Philsaga Mining Corp. and Sahi Mining Corp.
In a message at the awarding ceremony, DOE Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada said the private sector’s participation in indigenous energy resource development would boost the government’s efforts to wean the country away from imported fuel.
“We cannot always rely on others, we must strive and grow on our own,” Monsada said.
She said the PECR was envisioned to provide stability and sustainability to the energy sector.
“The department will continue to advocate indigenous energy explorations as we gear toward the growth and development of the energy industry and country,” she said.
As for the oil and gas segment of the PECR, which is set to be completed next year, six foreign firms have expressed interest in bidding for oil exploration contracts.
Petilla said six firms bought data packages for PECR5, indicating interest in the bidding set for late May to early June 2015.
Sources said that besides US-based Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., and ExxonMobil, other firms that obtained data on oil sites under PECR 5 were Repsol S.A. of Spain, TOTAL S.A. of France, and Mitra Energy Limited of Malaysia.
The DOE regularly holds the PECR to encourage investors to develop the country’s indigenous oil and gas resources.
Through this, the government aims to curb the local economy’s dependence on fuel imports and create new revenue streams.
Wooing investors, the DOE is again extending the deadline for oil exploration site auction to mid-2015 (late May to early June) from March 31 in an effort to attract more investors to the Philippine upstream oil industry.
This would be the second extension. It may be recalled that when DOE launched PECR5 in May this year, it originally set the deadline for submission of bids for petroleum exploration areas on Feb. 27, 2015. This was later extended to March 31 and now to mid-2015.
Petilla said the extensions should give investors more time to study the areas on offer.
The government has allowed a third-party company to make initial surveys on PECR5 oil blocks at no cost to the state and to offer such data to interested private investors.
PECR5, including five blocks in the West Philippine Sea, is expected to generate at least P7.23 billion in petroleum exploration investments and at least P150 million in coal exploration investments.
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