PNOC-EC starts natural gas drilling in Isabela
The state-run Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) has embarked on another ambitious energy exploration project, this time in Santiago City, Isabela province, where it hopes to find the country’s next major commercial discovery of natural gas within the term of President Aquino.
Gemiliano Lopez Jr., PNOC-EC chair, has reported the “positive development” to President Aquino as he expressed optimism they would be “one step closer to our dream and vision for the Philippines to be truly energy self-sufficient.”
In his report, the former Manila mayor disclosed that PNOC-EC had “spud the Mangosteen 1 well, which is within our Service Contract 37 program in the Cagayan Basin.”
“We are extremely confident of finding the country’s next gas field that can provide an additional 100 megawatts of energy using clean natural gas,” he said.
Lopez noted that “under the same service contract, we operated the nation’s first natural gas-fired power plant from 1994 to 2008 as we also produced 5.4 billion cubic feet of gas.”
“With the grace of God, we hope this drilling operation in this gas-rich area will be successful because it would allow us to put up a gas power plant and begin producing cheap and clean energy for our people,” he said.
PNOC-EC records showed that of the 31 wells drilled by the government in the Cagayan Basin, at least five have resulted in gas flows. They were the Ipil 1, Abaca 1, Cowrie 1, San Antonio 1 and San Antonio 2 wells.
Incorporated in April 1976, the firm is mandated by the government—through the Department of Energy—to take the lead in the exploration, development and production of the country’s oil, natural gas and coal resources.
Last year, the PNOC-EC embarked on a $22-million energy exploration project off the western coast of Palawan province, which is estimated to contain between 676 million and 977 million barrels of oil.
Should it succeed in producing oil from the Baragatan prospect, it could supply roughly 10 percent of the nation’s crude oil requirements.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.