DOE to award July contracts to explore oil, gas blocks

DOE to award July contracts to explore oil, gas blocks

The Department of Energy will award in mid-July this year the contracts for the exploration of four oil and gas blocks that were offered during the second of the Philippine Contracting Round (PCR).

Energy Undersecretary Guillermo Balce told reporters Tuesday that the contracts are being prepared and will be awarded within next month, or more than eight months after PCR closed in November.

“All of the four contracts are being prepared, and they may be awarded within July,” Balce said.

Balce said the energy department will award the oil exploration deals of the Northeast and Southeast Palawan to the Burgundy Global Asset Management Corp.

It will meantime award the exploration contract for Southwest Palawan to the joint venture of Australian-owned Nido Petroleum Philippines Pty. Ltd and the PNOC Exploration Corp.

Meantime, Ranhill Berhad, the majority owned of the YNN Pacific Consortium, which is set to buy the 600-megawatt Masinloc coal-fired plant, and its partner Phil-Mal Petroenergy Corp., is expected to get the contract for the Sulu Sea Basin near the island of Sibutu and Tawi-Tawi.

The four exploration blocks measure about 49,789 square kilometers and were part of the PCR last year.

Burgundy Global Asset has also participated in the bidding for the development of the Camago-Malampaya Oil Leg, while Ranhill Berhad holds majority stake in the YNN Pacific Consortium.

Phil-Mal, operator of Service Contract 49, oversees search for possible oil and gas reserves in Southern Cebu, while PNOC-EC owns the 10-percent stake in the Malampaya gas power project. It also holds the rights to SC 57 along with China National Oil Corp. and Mitra Energy Ltd.

Nido Petroleum, meantime, holds the rights to SC 54 in Northwest Palawan.

Balce said that the department may hold a third contracting round this year, following the failure of the coal component of the latest PCR. None of the wining bidders qualified in the technical and financial criteria set by the government. The geothermal component also failed to bring in the results the government expected.

The DOE official said the department may offer about five or six petroleum blocks in the third PCR with at least one interested party for each block. About nine geothermal blocks and nine coal blocks will also be offered.

Balce declined to give the date of the PCR opening but said the DOE may have to close the round by December this year.

“We will start late this year so the DOE will close the round a bit later also,” Balce said.

In 2003 the government also offered exploration blocks in Northwest, Southwest and east Palawan, Sulu Sea and the Reed Banks, which led to the awarding of the SC 56 to BHP Billiton Petroleum.

The DOE has awarded 16 petroleum service contracts with a minimum financial resources amounting to US$215.31 million committed to the proposed work program.


Share this post