The Department of Energy (DOE) said that the sale of the Malampaya gas field’s 45% operating stake had been completed by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V (SPEX) and Udenna Corporation subsidiary Malampaya Energy XP (MEXP) even after Philippine National Oil Company – Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) withheld its consent.
In a Manila Bulletin report, Energy undersecretary Donato Marcos said during the budget briefing of DOE that “the sale between MEXP and SPEX, that was consummated,” adding that it has been the basis of MEXP selling its shares in the Malampaya to Prime Exploration Co. Ltd, a unit of Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc.
PNOC withheld its consent to selling SPEX’s operating stakes in December 2021. Since then, no announcement has been made by the PNOC-EC on its consent. The DOE has also not given its approval on the SPEX-MEXP transaction.
Currently, with the ongoing acquisition of Prime Infra of Malampaya’s majority stake, PNOC-EC president Franz Alvarez said that there is an assessment ongoing if the company is capable “financially, as well as on legal and technical aspects” of operating the Malampaya gas field.
The DOE earlier formed technical and financial committees that would review the ongoing sale of the Malampaya. Marcos said the DOE would need to evaluate the next steps to take on the possible license extension of the upcoming operator of the Malampaya.
Earlier, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said that they would leave PNOC-EC to resolve the issues on the sale of SPEX’s stake in the Malampaya.