The government is eyeing up to $7.5 billion in investments from the 15 new oil and gas exploration areas to be offered in the fourth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR 4).
During the PECR 4 launch yesterday, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said they expect an investment of about $500 million for each of the service contracts (SC) to be auctioned off in the contracting round.
The PECR 4 comprises of three onshore and 12 offshore blocks with a total area of more than 10 million hectares located in Northwest Palawan, East Palawan, and Sulu Sea basins. This year’s contracting round will be the biggest yet offered by the Philippines.
Included in the areas offered under the PECR 4 are four cancelled SCs of one oil exploration firm in Sulu Sea.
Almendras said they expect to award the SCs by early next year after allowing the prospective investors about five months to conduct their respective due diligence studies.
Among those that attended the launching of PECR 4 are: Petro Energy Resources Corp.; PNOC-Exploration Corp.; Pitkin Petroleum; Philodrill Corp.; BGP Inc.; Polyard Petroleum Int’l. Co. Ltd.; Shell Philippines Exploration BV; Star Energy; Supply Oilfield Services Inc.; Tap Oil. Ltd; Venturoil Phil. Inc.; Palawan Sulu Sea Gas Inc.; Galoc Production Inc.; Gibeon Integration Systems Pte Ltd.; Great Treasures Alliances Int’l.; Logistics Marketing Phils. Inc.; Nido Petroleum Ltd.; Norasian Energy Ltd.; Oriental Petroleum & Minerals Corp.; Chevron Malampaya Phils. LLC; China Union Global Holdings Ltd.; Forum Energy PLC; Basic Energy and One Asia Oil & Gas Corp.
According to Almendras, the contracting round is expected to attract investments in oil and gas exploration activities which will contribute to the realization of the country’s energy self-sufficiency level target of 60 percent by 2011.
So far, only 10 percent of the potential oil and gas reserves of the country has been tapped.
The PECR 4 is envisioned to address the country’s energy supply through the exploration of local indigenous resources. Harnessing local resources will help the country meet its daily demand and reduce the importation of petroleum and petroleum products.
Independent and large-scale international exploration companies that have attended previous roadshows in Singapore and Australia have also expressed interest to bid in the various blocks for offer.
Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug said the Department of Petroleum and Energy of Papua New Guinea has also expressed support to PECR 4 and will encourage investors to consider the Philippines for exploration.
Almendras said they are overwhelmed by the response of potential investors in PECR 4.
Earlier, Layug said most of the investors are eyeing areas near Northwest Palawan,specifically Areas 3,4,5 where the presence of oil and gas have already been proven. The $4.5-billion Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project is located in NW Palawan.