PECR 5 awarding still possible this month, Energy dep’t says

introTHE AWARDING of new petroleum service contracts under the fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) could still take place within this month even if the recommendation for award has yet to be secured, Energy department officials said yesterday.

“We have already completed the evaluations of the applications. We will present the results on Thursday,” Rino E. Abad, director of the Energy department’s Energy Resource Development Bureau, said via phone.

Recommendations for award were originally scheduled to be forwarded to Zenaida Y. Monsada, who sits as officer-in-charge for the Energy secretary, last Sept. 4.

“There had been problems with schedules because there are also budget hearings at the Congress,” Mr. Abad said.

“But now we have secured a new schedule so we can submit the recommendations, he added.

Patrick T. Aquino, director of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau, for his part said awarding could still take place “within this month.”

Officials refused to give further details of the evaluation results so as not to preempt the next move of Ms. Monsada.

A total of four three companies submitted offers for new petroleum contracts during the bid submission for the PECR 5, under which a total of 11 areas were offered for exploration and development.

Israel’s Ratio Oil Exploration Ltd. submitted the only offer for area 4 — which covers a 416,000-hectare (ha) in waters east of Palawan.

Colossal Petroleum Corp., meanwhile, applied for area 5 — a 576,000-ha block in waters east of Palawan.

The company, which is an affiliate of listed Coal Asia Holdings, Inc., is also the sole bidder for area 7, which is a 468,000-ha block within the disputed Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

Yulaga Oil Exploration Enterprises submitted the sole bid for area 1, covering a 424,000-ha petroleum block in Southeast Luzon. The company, however, was immediately disqualified “due to lacking financial, technical and legal documents.”

There were no offers for areas 2 and 3 (located in Iloilo-West Masbate); area 6 (East Palawan); and areas 8, 9, 10 and 11 (West Luzon).

A petroleum service contract has seven-year exploration period, which could be extended to up to 10 years.

Should this phase succeed, the contract will enter into a 25-year development or production period.

The PECR 5 — launched in May last year — also showcased 15 areas for coal exploration and development.

Three companies received the seven coal operating contracts under this contracting round in November. — Claire Ann Marie C. Feliciano

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