Town’s economic fate hangs on arrival of equipment

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


IT WON’T be long before Aloguinsan, Cebu finds out if the oil discovered in the midwestern town is viable for mass production.

Mayor Cynthia Moreno said the equipment for the production test will arrive anytime this month.

Moreno said the Australian exploration firm Gas2Grid has already acquired drilling permit and the production test permit, which will allow the firm to go on with its onshore exploration as soon as the equipment arrive.

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“Dako ang ikatabang aning oil sa lungsod (If the production test is positive, it will have a positive impact on the town’s economy),” she said.

She said the Provincial Government, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Energy (DOE) and Malacañang are also interested in the test result.

The mayor said her town is ready with support facilities in case oil in Barangay Olango is viable for mass production.

Initial findings

She said the town has a port that is able to accommodate barges, while there’s a bigger port in nearby Toledo City.

The Philippines’ daily petroleum requirement is 300,000 barrels. If any of the Aloguinsan wells can produce at least 5,000 barrels per day, the exploration can continue, said DOE Undersecretary Ramon Allan Oca in an interview last Jan 24.

He said initial findings of the Australian exploration firm said one of the wells can produce 200 barrels a day.

He said it’s a good thing the well is located onshore and not in the middle of the ocean, making the conduct of additional tests less expensive.

Oca said onshore oil drilling/exploring currently costs $15 million to $20 million, without any guarantee of success.

Last January 17, Eddie Llamedo, DENR 7 spokesperson, urged Gas2Grid to submit an environmental impact assessment survey (EIAS) to determine if the ongoing oil drilling operations will affect surrounding communities.

He said the firm must consult affected stakeholders “to determine the relevance of the project and the proponents involved as a way to mitigate environmental impact on the surrounding areas” which is part of its EIAS.
He said the EIAS will also serve as one of the basis for the approval of the project’s environment compliance certificate.

Aloguinsan is a fourth-class municipality with 15 barangays. (OCP)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2014.

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