DOE to push for development of oil, gas sector
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) will continue to push for the development of the country’s oil and gas sector through its Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) to build energy security.

This is despite the low price environment the oil sector is experiencing globally, which drove some investors to rethink their plans in the capital intensive sector. 

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said a number of global oil companies have already deferred their expansion and operations this year and the same strategy is already seen in the local upstream sector.

“Locally, we’re also seeing the sector will be affected because the exploration companies will be rethinking how we will address it,” he said.

But the energy chief said the process on the nominated exploration areas under the PCECP would proceed once the enhanced community quarantine is lifted.

“That process will continue. It’s already there. The opening of bids was only delayed because of COVID-19. But we will open the bids as soon as the quarantine is lifted,” Cusi said.

Earlier, the agency received four nominated areas for exploration, which will be challenged by other oil and gas companies within a 60-day period.

These nominated areas are located in the West Philippine Sea, with Areas 6 located north, Area 7 in southwest and Area 8 south of Reed Bank or Service Contract 72.

The nominations for the areas were published on March 5, 8 and 9, respectively.

Interested challengers were given 60 days to submit their counter proposals for the three areas—until May 5 for nominated Area 6 and until May 8 for nominated Areas 7 and 8.

Continuing the PCECP is critical in building the country’s energy security, as the Philippines relies heavily on oil imports.

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