PH launches new Petroleum Exploration Program

Petroleum association appeals to gov’t over COA ruling, cites negative impacts

In an effort to push the development of the local petroleum industry for global competitiveness, the Department of Energy (DOE)  will launch the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) on November 22, 2018.

“The DOE is aggressively pursuing the implementation of the PCECP so the country could establish a strong ‘Explore, Explore, Explore’ program. We have been grossly trailing behind our neighbors in terms of petroleum exploration and development activities. It is high time that we step up. We need to attain energy security and sustainability to minimize our vulnerability to global oil price shocks. Harnessing our indigenous energy resources would also go far in helping us meet the country’s increasing energy demand as we continue to usher in economic progress,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.

Under this contracting program, potential investors can apply in two ways.

One is to bid on the 14 Predetermined Areas identified by the DOE, which are in Cagayan, East Palawan, Sulu Sea, Agusan-Davao, Cotabato, West Luzon. The application period is 180 days and will be officially opened during the launch.

The alternative is for potential investors to nominate and publish other areas of interest. Applications could be submitted at any time of the year, and would be subjected to a 60-day challenge period.

The DOE Centralized Review and Evaluation Committee will evaluate all accepted applications based on the criteria following the Department Circular No. DC2017-12-0017.

The energy department conducted several roadshows to raise awareness on the program before launching the new contracting program.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the first service contract last October.  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.

As of now, there are 23 active petroleum service contract on the Philippines with developers like Shell Philippines Exploration, Total E&P, PNOC-EC, Nido Petroleum, Philodrill, PXP Energy and Galoc Production Company.

Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project is deemed to be the largest and successful natural gas industrial project in the country.


Meanne Rosales is a reporter and segment producer at Power Philippines. For content concerns, story pitches, or partnerships and collaborations, you may contact her through



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