Source:  Business Mirror

INTERESTS on the country’s potential oil and gas yielding blocks is on an upswing as the Department of Energy (DOE) prepares to kick off a series of road shows in the US and Europe to offer 15 potential oil and gas fields to investors, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras revealed on Tuesday.

In an interview, the Energy chief said there is so much interest in oil and gas exploration in the Philippines that many big exploration companies are signifying their interests to invest in the local energy sector.

Almendras said he is headed to Texas and London in July or August to encourage more investors to participate in the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) for oil and gas exploration areas.

Almendras expressed optimism that the PECR will gather a lot of positive response from investors.

He added that the international road show will provide potential investors a venue to gather information on the bidding procedures. “In the spirit of transparency, we don’t want to be accused of being restrictive in the way we share the information, and we will do the road show to answer investors’ concerns,” the Energy chief said.

He likewise revealed that other Energy officials are headed to do the same (road show) in Singapore and Australia.

Almendras said  he is set to launch the PECR-4 by end of June and hold the road shows to inform potential investors of the sites to be bidded out and at the same time address their concerns.

Although the Energy department has yet to finalize the schedules, Almendras said their target date to award service contracts would be by the end of the Q3 or early Q4.

He also said the Energy department is also looking into the possibility of reviving old exploration areas that have been abandoned.

Almendras stressed they would make sure that investors must deliver on their commitment. The bidders need to prove their competencies, we would like to reiterate that PECR is not about money, but also competency and quality, work program, as it is also our job to accelerate the development.

A bidder may give a very high proposal but would take it 20 years to develop. I’d rather give it to somebody who could do it for three years, as we need the energy as soon as possible,” he said.

The DOE is set to bid out 15 new oil and gas exploration areas, mostly near South China Sea and Sulu Sea under the PECR 4.

Among the areas that would be offered include: Area 1 (544,000 hectares) in Cagayan; Area 2 (676,000) in Central Luzon; Area 3 (600,000) in Northwest Palawan; Area 4 (616,000) Northwest Palawan; Area 5 (424,000) Northwest Palawan; Area 6 (840,000) in Mindoro Cuyo; Area 7 (844,000) in Mindoro Cuyo; Area 8 (840,000) in East Palawan; Area 9 (840,000) in East Palawan; Area 10 (640,000) in East Palawan; Area 11 (600,000) in Cotabato; Area 12 (456,000) in Cotabato; Area 13 (648,000) in East Palawan; Area 14 (983,900) in East Palawan and Area 15 (482,000) in Sulu Sea.