Cusi: Investors keen on drilling

Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi (Contributed photo)

Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on Saturday said investors’ keen interest in exploring oil and gas in the Philippines augurs well for the country’s development and energy security.

Cusi made the remark after the launch of the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) last 22 November 2018 at the Shangri-la at the Fort Hotel in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

“We are pleased with the recent turnout of investors who graced the event and expressed their interest with the PCECP,” Cusi said.

The PCECP is a program that offers 14 pre-determined areas and the option for investors to propose their own exploration area.

“There is so much untapped potential for energy exploration in the Philippines that is ripe for the picking as our energy needs grow every year. With the savings that we can generate from the utilization of our own energy resources, our economy and our people can reap huge benefits,” he added.

Presently, there are only 23 active Petroleum Service Contracts (PSC) in the country with the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project as the most successful PSC stemming from the previous Philippine Energy Contracting Round.

Under the PCECP, the DoE revised the investment mechanism. It provides a more investor-friendly environment which is consistent with the directions set by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The application process under the PCECP has also been streamlined to provide potential investors with a quicker turnaround time for administrative and documentary requirements to prevent unnecessary delays.

“With the success of our ASEAN neighbors in their energy exploration activities, we deem it our priority for local exploration to flourish as we are driven to make sure that the demand for energy is met. We see that the program will offer positive contributions to our economy as a direct result of exploration-related investment.”

Prior to the launch of the PCECP, the DoE conducted several roadshows throughout the country and in Singapore to attract local and foreign investors.

In October, Duterte signed the first service contract for petroleum exploration under his administration. Service Contract No. 76, covering Area 4 of Eastern Palawan, was awarded to Israeli firm Ratio Petroleum Ltd. signaling the push to revive the country’s upstream petroleum industry.

p: wjg