Another Malampaya possible – DOE

malampaya2ISTANBUL, Turkey – The Philippines has the potential to discover another NATURAL GAS field similar to the landmark $4.5-billion Malampaya deep-water-to-gas project in offshore Palawan under its current petroleum exploration round, a ranking Energy official told The STAR.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Department of Energy’s international roadshow here for its so-called Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR 5), Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada said there are areas offered under PECR 5 that have the potential of becoming another Malampaya project.

“There is the potential of discovering a new Malampaya. We’re really hoping to have new finds,” she said.

She said that several areas offered under the current exploration round have resource potential that can exceed Malampaya’s reserves if the exploration becomes successful.

The Malampaya, discovered in 2002, has reserves of 3.2 trillion cubic feet.

On the other hand, there are areas offered under PECR 5 that have resource potential of 3.5 trillion cubic feet.

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Monsada heads a team from the Energy department composed of lawyers, geologists and ranking officials for the Philippines’ participation in this year’s American Association of Petroleum Geologists INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Exhibition held here at the city’s Istanbul Congress Center.

The exhibition is the third leg of the Energy department’s international roadshow to entice global investors to bid for petroleum areas offered under PECR 5.

The PECR is a regular activity held by the DOE. It is a transparent and competitive system for awarding system contracts.

The goal is to showcase the petroleum exploration opportunities and to attract energy investors to develop the country’s indigenous oil and gas resources.

The PECR 5 offers 11 areas for petroleum exploration mostly located in Luzon and 15 areas for coal exploration, largely concentrated in Mindanao.

Areas offered for petroleum exploration are in Southeast Luzon, Masbate-Iloilo, Northeast Palawan, Southeast Palawan, West Palawan, West Luzon while areas offered for coal exploration are in Surigao, Agusan-Davao, Zamboanga and Cotabato-Sarangani.

As head of delegation, Monsada is optimistic that the current exploration round would attract more investors because the data provided to potential bidders are now digitized.

She said this would make it easier for investors to study the seismic data so that they can prepare their bids and work program better.

The Philippines partnered with UK-based Zebra Data, a third party data services company to provide 2D and 3D seismic data on the respective areas offered to investors.

“The data is now digitized,” said Ismael Ocampo, assistant director at the department’s Energy Resource Development Bureau.

In contrast, interested investors before had to go through PHOTOCOPIED sets of voluminous data.

“The digitized data is useful for companies that want to explore,”  he said.

Rino Abad, director of the bureau, said this partnership is at no cost to the government.

“This is at no cost to the government and Zebra can also recover their expenses,” he said.

Monsada said the government is optimistic that the current round would generate strong interest among international investors as she highlighted the importance of discovering indigenous sources of energy.

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