After Alegria oil field, DOE eyes explorations

THE Department of Energy (DOE) said the Philippines is looking into conducting more joint oil explorations to harness the country’s untapped oil reserves, with the energy chief saying they’re calling out investors to be a part in these ventures.

Speaking at the Association of Electricity Supply Industry of East Asia and the Western Pacific (AESIEAP) CEO Conference 2019 on Mactan Island Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2019, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi urged investors to help the government in improving the energy sector in the country to reach off-the-grid Filipinos achieve better energy solutions.

“The entire energy family does not cease in working hard to introduce proactive policies and reforms that uphold the well-being of consumers,” he said in a speech.

The energy chief said the country needs to conduct more oil explorations to harness the untapped oil reserves of the country which includes the Alegria Oil Field in Cebu which is now producing crude oil.

“The long term initiative we are doing is exploring our indigenous sources like what we did in Alegria, Cebu where we were able to produce and exploit oil. But that is not enough that’s why we keep on pushing. Our problem here in exploration is we stopped in the past years. The Philippines is doing only five drillings a year while other countries like Thailand, they do 500,” he said.

In terms of funding for the explorations, Cusi said they are inviting foreign companies to collaborate with the government in these ventures.

“We are inviting investors, the exploration companies, the foreign companies,” he said.

Furthermore, Cusi also cited the DOE’s initiatives in pushing reforms in the energy sector.

“Under the leadership of our President, we now have Executive Order No. 30 and the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Law - streamlining measures that fast-track energy projects of national significance and boost the establishment of much-needed energy infrastructure by transforming the Philippines into an attractive energy investment destination,” he said.

DOE is conducting a two-pronged approach to establish energy security in the country.

“First, we initiated the move towards establishing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification terminal, in anticipation of the Malampaya gas field’s forthcoming depletion, as well as to ease us into our transition towards greener energy utilization. Then, with LNG spurring what is being internationally called as a “second natural gas revolution,” it also serves a secondary purpose relative to our aspiration of becoming a regional LNG hub,” he said.

“The DOE likewise launched the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program in November last year to reawaken our upstream oil and gas industry. Under this enhanced scheme, investors may look into undertaking exploration and development activities by applying for any of the 14 predetermined areas on offer, or by nominating other potential areas of interest,” Cusi added. (JOB)


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