Natgas prospects abundant — DoE

The country remains endowed with huge untapped gas reserves that can be used to meet the country’s energy needs, a Department of Energy official said.

Energy Undersecretary Sandy Sales said in a news forum that the country should pull in investors as energy exploration and development are capital intensive.

“There are still many other areas, not just Malampaya, that have the potential for large gas deposits,” Sales said.

He said despite the nation’s complete commitment to decarbonization, the government supports upstream oil and gas development and production.

“The path to decarbonization is not the same. What works for other jurisdictions does not necessarily apply to the Philippines,” Sales said.

Path differs

“In other places, they say that coal plants need to be shut down. That’s their path. But for us, we have the same destination in mind but we have a different path to take. Our situation is different. We need to stabilize our power supply,” he added.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. recently signed the renewal of Service Contract 38 for the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project.

Sales said to produce the remaining gas reserve after 2024, the government has to renew the contract.

“It’s about 80 to 140 BCF (billion cubic feet) that would have been stranded if the contract was not renewed. In the renewal agreement, it is also required that the consortium conduct near-field appraisal and development. This is to add reserves and increase the production of the Malampaya field,” he said.

“Based on the technical review, potentially, there is an additional 210 BCF that can be developed close to the existing Malampaya field. So this would require the drilling of wells and substantial subsea work to tie back the new production wells into the existing Malampaya production facilities. So this is a firm commitment as part of the renewal agreement,” he said.

The Malampaya project is seen to reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports and ensure a more stable supply of cleaner energy from an indigenous source.

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