DOE launches bidding for coal, petroleum exploration in BARRM

DOE logo 2023

The Department of Energy (DOE), along with the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), launched the 1st Conventional Energy Bid Round for BARMM and the 2024 Philippine Bid Round.

Four (4) Pre-Determined Areas (PDAs) of coal and petroleum would be opened for investment, exploration, development, and production of the region’s indigenous resources, in compliance with the Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB). 

“The resources identified in the BARMM area are enormous assets that we can fully develop. As we go another step forward to harnessing these assets, our aspirations for promoting economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and nurture a thriving business landscape in the region are even closer to realization,” said Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla. 

The only PDA for coal exploration is situated in Kapai and Tagoloan, Lanao del Sur which encompassed a total area of 14, 856 hectares. 

For the 3 PDAs for petroleum exploration, PDA-BP-1, which comprised Cotabato City and the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte, spanned almost 229,240 hectares and is in Cotabato Basin.

At present, 14 wells have been drilled in the area, with 10 of them containing reveals of oil and gas.

Meanwhile, PDA-BP-2 and PDA-BP-3 are situated in the Sulu Sea Basin, covering expanses of 780,000 hectares and 532,038 hectares, respectively. Within PDA-BP-2, six wells were drilled, resulting in three gas discoveries and one showing both oil and gas. 

For PDA-BP-3, seven wells were drilled, with four exhibiting gas shows and one displaying both oil and gas.

For the 2024 Philippine Bid Round, two PDAs had been offered for the development and production of petroleum, situated in Northwest Palawan and Southern Cebu. 

The Northern Palawan in Busuanga Island had five wells, including the Calauit and Calauit South oil fields, which had a reserve of 5.5 to 6.1 million barrels of oil (MMbbls) and studies in the area chanced at an additional reserve of 0.1 to 1.8 MMbbls of oil.

PDA-DP-2 was an extensively probed area in Cebu, which had a reserve of 26.3 to 31.9 MMbbls of oil. Six wells in its proximity produced around 19,791.26 barrels of crude oil from 2018 to 2023.

Another PDA for native hydrogen exploration had been offered, situated in the northern part of the Zambales Ophiolite Complex and the western portion of Central Luzon.