Published July 12, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DoE) is targeting to offer by year-end new petroleum blocks for contracting round to lift the country’s chances for new oil and gas discoveries.
This was announced by DOE’s Energy Resource Development Bureau (ERDB) Assistant Director Ismael U. Ocampo in a press conference relative to the launch of the “E-Power Mo” information drive of the department.
The goal, he said, “is still anchored on finding the next Malampaya” so the country could boost its development prospects of indigenous energy resources.
Ocampo emphasized that the areas targeted for fresh round of auction under the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 6 (PECR-6) would include those in the West Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea and Palawan.
The energy official indicated that the previous areas without offers under the last contracting round may also be included in the blocks for bidding under PECR 6.
These classified service areas have been in the Central Luzon basin; Northwest Palawan; East Palawan basin and Sulu Sea.
Ocampo stressed that the department – and the country in general – would somehow “be taking a gamble” in this scheduled round of contracting, albeit the agency has been trying to lean on probabilities that crude prices may rise higher in the coming months.
Energy officials admitted though that there are other hurdles that they would need to hammer out with other government agencies so they can push ahead with the PECR-6 undertaking.
These would include the lifting of moratorium that was enforced by the Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA) on petroleum drilling plans at the West Philippine Sea, primarily those that were previously held to be within the so-called ‘conflict area’; and the pending approval of the Department of Finance (DoF) of the contracts still due for award under PECR-5.