DOE to expand contracting program for oil and gas exploration


The Department of Energy is planning to conduct another round of its Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) to promote the country’s oil and gas exploration and development.

The program aims to facilitate drilling for additional wells as the country registers only an annual average of five wells from 2007 to 2017.

This puts the country way behind compared to its neighboring countries like Myanmar (29), Malaysia (81), Indonesia (903), Thailand (594), and Vietnam (43).

“We have to be aggressive in our pursuit of achieving energy self-sufficiency as envisioned by the Duterte Administration. Maximizing our exploration and development activities would help us keep up with energy sector developments and economic changes in the ASEAN region and worldwide,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

The department will identify 14 pre-determined areas (PDAs) for possible petroleum exploration and development activities.

Included in the PDAs are the Cagayan Basin, three areas in Eastern Palawan, three in Sulu, two in Agusan-Davao, one in Cotabato, and four in Western Luzon.

The PCECP will also allow potential investors to recommend areas they want to develop outside the PDA list.

The PCECP is the DOE’s revised and transparent petroleum service contract awarding mechanism that allows the government to develop and utilize indigenous petroleum resources under a service contract with qualified local and international exploration companies.

PCECP could be done through competitive selection or nomination.

“This (PCECP) could mean a lot for the country in our search for a new source of energy like the Malampaya”, said Cusi, citing Malampaya’s projected natural gas production depletion by 2022.

PCECP’s formal launch will be in November, but the DOE will be holding roadshows beginning in Palawan, followed by Davao and Zamboanga.

The three venues were chosen based on their proximity to some of the 14 PDAs identified by the DOE.

The DOE will also be in the Association of American Petroleum Geologists’ International Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa in the same month.