The Department of Energy (DOE) chief said both nations are working to reach their goal of joint exploration activities in the disputed waters.
Ernie Peñaredondo
Philippines, China working to meet oil exploration deadline
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - July 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China are working to meet a November deadline to form a framework for joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said yesterday.

The Department of Energy (DOE) chief said both nations are working to reach their goal of joint exploration activities in the disputed waters.

“We’re working on that. That’s why before it expires… something positive, something concrete must be reached between the two countries on how we can tap the resources and use it for the benefit of our people,” Cusi said.

President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in November last year, which was seen as a step toward joint development in the West Philippine Sea.

From the signing of the MOU, both nations have one year to finalize a framework to pursue joint oil and gas development in the area.

“I don’t like to speculate but our goal is that we want to finish it by November,” he said.

Cusi also said the Philippines and China have exchanged their versions of the framework.

“We’ve had exchanges of documents and information between the two countries. The negotiation continues,” he said.

In line with the MOU with China, Cusi earlier said the DOE is working on lifting the moratorium imposed on exploration and drilling works in December 2014 and 2015 amid rising maritime tensions with China.

ALFONSO CUSI PHILIPPINES AND CHINA OIL EXPLORATION
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