MANILA — The Department of Energy (DOE) has opened up applications from parties interested in exploring for untapped energy resources in the country, within the next six months.
The DOE formally launched the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) in Taguig City on Thursday promote exploration activities in pre-determined and nominated areas.
Interested investors can select from 14 onshore and offshore areas predetermined by the DOE.
Area 1 is in Cagayan Basin; Area 2, 3, and 4 are in East Palawan Basin; Area 5, 6, and 7 are in Sulu Sea; Area 8 and 9 are in Agusan-Davao Basin; Area 10 is in Cotabato Basi; and Area 11, 12, 13, and 14 are in West Luzon.
The pre-determined areas up for exploration measure 7.28 million hectares.
Energy Resource Development Bureau Director Melita Obillo said the East Palawan Basin, consisting Area 2, 3, and 4, host existing drilling activities that have proven the existence of a petroleum system in the area.
The West Luzon Basin, on the other hand, has large economic potential as the location is near Clark and Subic which host key economic zones, Obillo added.
Aside from the 14 pre-determined areas, interested parties may nominate areas within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for exploration at their own expense. However, the application to explore a nominated area shall have DOE’s approval.
DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III said the winning applications would be announced within the next 200 days.
Pulido said the contract duration has been set at seven years and extendable to another three years for the exploration phase. The production phase has 25-year contract that can be extended to another 15 years. But “no service contract can go beyond a stipulated 50-year period”, according to the DOE official. (PNA)