PNOC-EC eyes more exploration contracts
PNOC EXPLORATION Corp., the upstream oil and coal arm of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., is eyeing to acquire several more petroleum service contracts within the Palawan basin to further expand its exploration acreage.
PNOC-EC chair and CEO Gemiliano Lopez Jr. said the company was eyeing either onshore or offshore service contract areas specifically within the Palawan area, which holds highly prospective oil and gas sites.
Palawan is currently home to the $4.5-billion Malampaya gas project, which currently powers the country’s three natural gas power plants. These facilities generate a combined 2,700 megawatts for the Luzon grid. PNOC-EC has a 10 percent stake in this project, while Royal Dutch Shell, through Shell Philippines Exploration BV (SPEX) and Chevron Malampaya LLC each hold a 45-percent interest in Service Contract 38.
According to Lopez, PNOC-EC was prepared to join the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 4, in which the government is offering contracts to explore and develop 15 potential areas to investors. Of the 15 areas, nine are located within east and northwest Palawan.
PNOC-EC, he added, currently has excess cash of P2.5 billion, which it can use to fund its plan to join the PECR 4. Interested investors can avail of bidding packages on July 30, after which they will be given five months to conduct their respective studies and evaluation of the areas prior to making bids. The Department of Energy targets to award the service contracts by early next year.