MVP Group eyes Malampaya stake
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The MVP Group is interested in acquiring Chevron’s 45 percent stake in the $4.5-billion Malampaya deep water-gas-to-power project in offshore Palawan, its chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said yesterday.

The STAR reported yesterday that the stake is for sale and that the company is closing a deal with Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp.

However, Pangilinan said his group is also interested in Chevron’s stake in Malampaya as it would have synergy with Service Contract 72, the contract that covers the disputed Recto Bank.

Pangilinan’s PXP Energy has a 67.19 percent in Forum Energy, which has a 70 percent interest in SC 72.

“We’ve been interested in the Malampaya project for some time. We’ve been talking to the relevant stakeholders,” Pangilinan told The STAR yesterday.

He declined to comment if his group is already in active talks with Chevron regarding the acquisition of the latter’s stake.

Asked if it was still viable given Malampaya’s resources would reportedly be depleted by 2024 or 2027, Pangilinan said there was a possibility that new resources could be found in the area including the nearby SC 72.

If drillings show the presence of gas in SC 72, Pangilinan’s group can build a pipeline and connect it to the Malampaya facility – about 100 kilometers – and in the end can continue supplying 40 percent of Luzon’s requirements.

SC 72 has been under force majeure since Dec. 15, 2014 due to the West Philippine Sea maritime dispute but Pangilinan believes the issue will eventually be resolved.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi confirmed that Chevron was in talks with buyers for the sale of its stake in Malampaya. The agency, however, has yet to update the Department of Energy on the closing of such a transaction.

Cusi said he has no preference on the buyer, whether it is a local or foreign company as long as the company can develop the project further.

The Malampaya project is developed and operated by Shell Philippines Exploration BV with a 45 percent stake on behalf of joint-venture partners Chevron which also has a 45 percent stake and PNOC-EC (Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp.), which holds the remaining 10 percent.

Chevron and PNOC acquired their respective stakes in the Malampaya project from Shell in 1990.

The MVP Group, through Manila Electric Co., Meralco PowerGen and Global Business Power, is a major power player in the country.

Meralco is the country’s biggest power distributor while Meralco PowerGen is a power generator with projects such as the San BuenaventuraPower Ltd.

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