Government readies drilling off Malampaya
In a Senate hearing Tuesday, PNOC-EC president Rozzano Briguez said SC 57 has the most potential to generate indigenous gas and oil, emphasizing it is located at the northwest portion of the Malampaya platform.
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Government readies drilling off Malampaya
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Drilling works for Service Contract (SC) 57, which is near the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project, is targeted to begin next year and could start production by 2026, an official of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. – Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) said.

In a Senate hearing Tuesday, PNOC-EC president Rozzano Briguez said SC 57 has the most potential to generate indigenous gas and oil, emphasizing it is located at the northwest portion of the Malampaya platform.

Briguez said SC 57 is about two-thirds the size of Malampaya at 1.8 trillion cubic feet.

“Right now we are about to farm it out. The terms of reference is being validated at the Department of Energy (DOE),”Briguez said.

“Once that will be approved, we will farm it out and proceed with additional studies and drilling for SC 57 and we’re looking, if our timeline is correct, we will start drilling by 2021,” he added.

The PNOC-EC official said SC 57 would hopefully go into production in five years’ time or in 2026.

Senate Committee on Energy chairman Sherwin Gatchalian said this development is good news as the country needs to replace Malampaya as its contract expires in 2024.

“That’s very good news because we have to replace Malampaya as soon as possible. Even if the timetable to extract that and to produce is way beyond 2024, at least it’s not so far apart,” Gatchalian said.

“I believe that area has tremendous potential and it’s really about time for PNOC-EC, being the national oil company, to start development in that area,”he said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said earlier that while supply from the Malampaya project may last until 2027, this would not be enough to provide the future natural gas requirements with the plan to expand the application of natural gas to various sectors.

“They say that the Malampaya supply can go as far as 2027 but it does not have enough gas for the further expansion needed to provide future natural gas requirements, particularly with the plan to expand application of LNG (liquefied natural gas) in the industrial, commercial, residential, and transport sectors,” Cusi said earlier.

The Malampaya project has been operating since 2001 and its concession contract is set to expire in 2024.It is the only local producer of indigenous natural gas.

“The Philippines has been intensifying its efforts to ensure our energy security with expected depletion of the Malampaya gas field in the next few years,”Cusi said.

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