14 prospective petroleum areas offered to investors
The Department of Energy yesterday opened to interested investors 14 prospective petroleum areas for exploration as the country’s demand for oil and gas continues to rise while local resources approach depletion.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) would help the country establish a sustainable petroleum exploration and development program.
He said the program was meant to encourage investments in petroleum and the production of the Philippines’ indigenous energy resources.
“We are trailing behind our neighbors in upstream petroleum activities,” Cusi said. “We have drilled only an average of five wells (yearly) over a 10-year period, compared to the double- and triple-digit averages of other Southeast Asian countries.”
The energy chief said PCECP was an intensified approach to harness local resources for long-term energy security and self-sufficiency.
The Philippines imports almost all of its oil requirements while production of natural gas from the Malampaya field in Palawan—used for generating electricity—is expected to start getting less and less in five years.
“We will continue to pursue strategies that would enable us to strengthen our technical and financial capabilities for the development of domestic petroleum resources,” Cusi said.
Of the 14 areas, the first one covers onshore blocks within the Cagayan Basin in Northern Luzon. Areas 2-4 are offshore blocks in the East Palawan Basin.
Areas 5-7 are offshore blocks in the Sulu Sea while Areas 8-9 are onshore blocks in the Agusan-Davao Basin. Area 10 is an onshore block in the Cotabato Basin while Areas 11-14 are offshore blocks in the West Luzon Basin, off Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
“All these 14 areas are within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, none are subject to territorial dispute (with a foreign government),” Cusi said.
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.