40 Australian Oil and Gas Exploration firms keen on investing in the Philippines this year

Oil and Gas: At least 40 prominent Australian oil and gas exploration companies have expressed strong and keen interest in investing in the Philippine upstream oil and gas industry, a favorable start for the government’s international road show for the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR 4).

These interested companies include Shell, Apache, Chevron, AWT International, Black Swan, CalEnergy, Cue Energy Resources, ENI Australia, Exxon, Neon Energy, Otto Energy, Woodside, Anglican Resources PLC and Tap Oil, Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. said.

“The investor interest is overwhelming and everybody is keenly awaiting the availability of the DoE technical data for their immediate evaluation. We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout despite the short notice,” Layug noted.

“This is a validation of continuing international confidence in the Aquino administration. We hope this will result in new oil and gas discoveries within Philippine territory. It comes at an appropriate time especially with the current high oil price environment,” added Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras.

The Australian roadshow held last May 23 was a kick-off event to promote the official launch of the PECR 4 this coming June 30. The DoE has also scheduled roadshows in Singapore, Houston and London. This early, many investors have already registered for the Singapore and London presentations and have been awaiting information pertaining to the blocks to be offered, Layug said.

PECR 4 formed part of President Aquino’s long-term plans to address the Philippines’ need for oil and gas and to reduce the country’s dependence on costly imported oil.

This platform provides for transparent and competitive system of tendering onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks for exploration to interested oil and gas companies. Under this process, the Department of Energy will determine the winning bidders based on specific technical, legal and financial criteria, after which the President of the Philippines will have to award the service contracts.

As many as 15 contracts for the exploration, development and production of prospective oil and gas sites may likely be auctioned off this June 30, 2011. These areas span across 7.92 million hectares of areas in Cagayan, Central Luzon, Northwest Palawan, Mindoro-Cuyo basin, East Palawan and Sulu Sea and  Cotabato. Northwest Palawan is home to the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project, the largest and most successful natural gas industrial project in Philippine history.

Layug stressed the need to develop these new areas as the demand for oil in the Philippines has been estimated at 300,000 barrels per day. The entry of new companies that would venture into exploring and developing the country’s indigenous resources would reduce its dependence on imported petroleum products, he explained.

The utilization of indigenous resources would also promote savings in tariffs and importation duties, Layug added.

Currently, there are 28 active petroleum service contracts in the Philippines with Exxon Mobil, Shell Philippines Exploration, Nido Petroleum, BHP Billiton and Galoc Production Co. among the operators.


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