Oil exploration in Recto Bank to start 2012, says energy chief
HONOLULU—The exploration for gas in the Recto Bank (also known as Reed Bank) would start in 2012, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said late Saturday afternoon here (Sunday in Manila).
In a news conference, Almendras provided details to President Aquino’s pronouncement on Friday about the substantial gas deposits in an area that would dwarf the Malampaya oil fields.
“We’re talking about Recto Bank, which really is not in the Spratlys area,” Almendras said in a news briefing following the official delegation’s meetings related to the Asia Pacific Economic Conference Summit.
The energy secretary, nonetheless, clarified that the Philippines would honor its agreement with its fellow claimants over territories in the West Philippines Sea and would hold off exploration in the disputed areas in the region.
The President, in his State of the Nation address this year, made an unequivocal claim over Recto Bank, saying being in the area would be like being on C.M. Recto Avenue in Manila.
The Philippines is of the position that Recto Bank is undisputed Philippine territory.
China, however, is also claiming the bank as one of its territories in the West Philippine Sea.
During a session of the APEC CEO Summit on commodity security, President Aquino told a panel that work in a gas-rich area would commence in 2012.
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