PH seeks Saudi help in oil exploration
RIYADH—Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has asked the help of Saudi Arabia in the Philippine government’s effort to explore and extract the country’s oil and gas reserves.
Cusi said he made the appeal during his meeting with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih at the sidelines of President Duterte’s meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Tuesday.
Cusi said he had also submitted a proposed memorandum of understanding to his Saudi counterpart but declined to provide further details on its content.
He said the proposed MOU would certainly help in efforts of the Philippine government to explore oil and other deposits that could boost the country’s energy situation.
The Philippines has long been exploring gas and oil in the seas of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Palawan as well as in the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao to ease its dependence on imported petroleum.
The Liguasan Marsh alone had been touted to hold millions of cubic meters of methane and possibly petroleum.
There was also optimism that the Davao to Agusan basin would produce the much-needed oil or gas. The Department of Energy has been actively promoting these areas as oil and gas exploration fields.
It has so far awarded contract areas to Chinese and other foreign companies for oil and gas exploration activities, especially in Palawan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Under the Petroleum Act, the government stands to earn about 60 percent in royalties from extraction activities. Allan Nawal
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