Following the lifting of the oil exploration moratorium in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) is looking to start drilling operations near the Malampaya gas field next year and producing oil by late 2026 or early 2027.
PNOC-EC President Rozzano Briguez revealed this development regarding Service Contract (SC) 57 (Calamian/Northwest Palawan) during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy Tuesday.
SC 57 is said to have so much “potential” since it is located near Malampaya.
Besides SC 57, PNOC-EC also holds the exploration rights to SC 59 (West Balabac). Both are within the waters disputed by the Philippines and China.
The agency will also pursue neighboring SC 58 (West Calamian/Northwest Palawan), as well as SC 75 (Northwest Palawan), a joint venture with PXP Energy Corporation of businessman Manny V. Pangilinan.
The Department of Energy is currently validating SC 57’s terms of reference and will also invite other possible project proponents. Briguez said PNOC-EC will farm out the project and push with additional studies and exploration drilling once it secures approval.
Senate energy committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian welcomed the developments.