ENERGY Secretary Alfonso Cusi and a Chinese company have jointly declared an oil field in Alegria town in southern Cebu to be commercially viable, with reserves of oil and natural gas that could last until 2037.
The Department of Energy (DOE) and service contractor China International Mining Petroleum Company Limited (CIMP) signed a Joint Declaration of Commerciality last Wednesday.
In a statement, the DOE said the oil field holds 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 in place/reserves.
For natural gas, about 9.42 billion cubic feet (bcf) reserves were found, with the recoverable resource estimated at 6.6 bcf, or about 70 percent of total natural gas in place/reserves.
CIMP holds Petroleum Service Contract No. 49, which covers the Alegria Oil Field. Exploration and drilling activities started in 2009.
The DOE and CIMP jointly established in 2016 that the area holds commercial quantities of natural gas upon its discovery of oil accumulation in the adjacent hydrocarbon traps within the Alegria underground area.
The town is located about 112 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
The DOE approved on Dec. 19, 2017 CIMP’s development plan for Alegria. Based on the plan, the natural gas and oil production of the field may last until 2037.
In a separate interview, DOE Undersecretary Donato Marcos said the two wells can produce 180 barrels per unit, or about 360 barrels per day.
“There will be 7,800 barrels of produced oil per month. But this is still smaller compared to other areas. The potential is there and the Chinese are continuously drilling the exploration well in the vicinity,” Marcos said.
He said they are optimistic that oil production will increase in the next months to come.
“Based on the program, they (Chinese investors) want to invest additional millions of dollars to fully develop the oil in Alegria,” Marcos said.
Meanwhile, he said the oil will only be available in the local market. As a bunker oil, it can be used in industries using a local refinery.
“It is still a little percentage of the total existing domestic consumption,” Marcos said.
On record, one megawatt a day of natural gas was produced in La Libertad, Bogo City, Cebu, which was started a few years ago but was halted due to lack of supply. In Alegria, Marcos said, natural gas production is three megawatts a day. (Marites Villamor-Ilano of SunStar Philippines, EOB)