The remaining 858,834 million standard cubic feet of estimated reserves in the Malampaya gas field in Palawan will completely run out by the first quarter of 2027, according to Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, citing data from the Department of Energy (DOE).
“We could be facing a major energy crisis less than six years from now unless we find alternative sources to supply our country’s demand for natural gas,” Gatchalian said in his speech on Tuesday sponsoring Senate Bill 2203 or the proposed Midstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act.
Malampaya currently supplies a fifth of the country’s power needs.
Gatchalian added that the country’s energy security mostly depends on the available supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG), noting that more than a quarter of Luzon is powered by the said fuel.
He particularly cited that last month, LNG plants generated 56% of the 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours purchased by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO).
The DOE has been authorizing energy companies to build LNG import terminals, all of which would be located along the coast of Batangas Bay, as the area hosts the country’s five LNG plants that are connected to Malampaya.
Gatchalian also stressed that natural gas should complement variable renewable energy (RE) sources, as outlined in the National Renewable Energy Plan’s (NREP) updated draft covering 2021-2040.
In February, former National Renewable Energy Board chair Monalisa Dimalanta said that the NREP draft aims to increase the share of RE in the power mix with higher flexibility in the system coming from natural gas plants up to 2030, with a slight decline by 2040.
The draft NREP has RE targets of 37.3% by 2030 and 55.8% by 2040.