Rising oil prices and geopolitical issues such as the West Philippine Sea dispute put the Philippines behind its Asian neighbors in terms of news hydrocarbon reserves, thanks to the lack of drilling and exploration activities in the country.
This was the statement made by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) Chief Financial Officer Lorelie Quiambao Osial at the Energy Smart Philippines 2018 of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines on October 25.
She cited lower world oil prices between 2010 and 2017 and geopolitical issues as key reasons affecting energy security through stunted oil explorations.
She added that the government should clarify the rules and be firm on conditions of contracts to encourage possible investors for exploration that could result in more power for sustained economic growth.
“The country needs more Malampaya,” she said.
Another gas field can be helpful to other indigenous energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, coal, and renewables, which can eventually lead to energy security, she added.
This will in help reduce the country’s dependence on coal imports and bunker fuel and will generate earnings from sales of condensate, a by-product of natural gas, Osial noted.
Natural gas projects can also generate more jobs to Filipinos in addition to its benefit as a cleaner source of energy.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed an exploration deal with Israeli firm Ration Petroleum Ltd.
The administration is also looking forward to a possible partnership with Chinese government for a joint gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
Osial said that once there’s an agreement on the issue of West Philippine Sea, this will open up the industry to explore the area.