No work suspension: Alegria oil and gas project to be opened on May 19
CEBU CITY — The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday said that oil and gas exploration work at in Alegria, Cebu is continuing.
DOE-Visayas Field Office OIC-Director Saul Gonzales denied reports that the exploration project has been suspended pending documentary requirements.
“Extraction work in the project site continues. In fact, there will be an inauguration of the project on May 19 next week in Alegria,” Gonzales said.
He clarified that the DOE did not order the suspension of the whole operation but only the operation of one of the wells on the site.
It was earlier reported that the DOE ordered the temporary suspension of the project because it does not have an ECC. Gonzales distributed copies of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Environmental Management Bureau 7 (Central Visayas) for the project on June 3, 2015.
Energy Resource Development Bureau Director Melita Obillo issued an order to cease operation on Well P8 last May 2 after the DOE Central Office inspection team found out that the well was emitting foul odor, Gonzales said.
“Obillo advised them to stop work on the well until it is completely cleaned. If it emits bad smell, it means they need to clean up the well,” Gonzales said.
The Alegria Oil and Gas Production Project in Barangay Montpeller of the southern Cebu town is covered by the DOE Service Contract (SC) 49.
China International Mining Petroleum Ltd. Co. (CIMP) is the major operator of SC No. 49, which has a total production area of 42,749 hectares. CIMP, a subsidiary of the Polyard Petroleum International Group, started exploration and drilling activities in the area in 2009.
Last March 14, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and the CIMP declared the commerciality of the Alegria Project, which could last 19 years until 2037, based on current production levels.
An estimated 27.93 million barrels of oil (MMBO), with a possible production recovery of 3.35 MMBO, or a conservative estimate of 12 percent of total oil reserves, were discovered in the area.
For natural gas, about 0.42 billion cubic feet (bcf) of reserves were found, with the recoverable resource estimated at 6.6 bcf, or about 70 percent of natural gas reserves. (PNA)