Malampaya may still yield up to 1.6 trillion cubic feet


The Malampaya gas platform off the coast of Palawan could still produce up to 1.6 trillion cubic feet (TCF), based on estimates and data submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) by the consortium that runs Service Contract (SC) 38.

The estimated production capacity is half of the gas field’s current capacity now being funneled for the requirements of over 3,200 megawatts of gas-fired power capacities nationwide.

Energy Asec. Leonido Pulido III said that Malampaya’s estimated production capacity until the expiration of SC 38 in 2024 may reach as high as 3.0TCF. For 2020, the gas platform has produced 2.32TCF as of August. The resources of Malampaya, which began commercial operations in 2001, are expected to be depleted by 2027.

In a Senate hearing recently, Shell Philippines Exploration B.V (SPEX) Managing Director Don Paulino noted that while Malampaya’s potential has gone down, he sees the possibility of extending the contract to allow it to bridge future explorations that may happen across the West Philippine Sea (WPS). He particularly mentioned seeing several developments in nearby Camago Field, which is also part of SC 38.

Paulino qualified though that the success of the prospective gas yield would still depend on validation through actual drilling of wells – and eventually, the output may have a success rate ranging from 20 to 80%.

For this to happen, the Shell executive said that the government should extend SC 38 first, and eventually give the green light to the drilling of wells, while stressing the need to study and assess the risks. Investments likewise must be infused this early.

The government recently allowed the resumption of exploration activities in the hotly-contested WPS after a six-year moratorium.

SPEX is the operator of SC 38. It currently owns 45% of the project, but is selling its stake. The Udenna Group of Davao-based magnate Dennis Uy also owns 45% after purchasing it from its original holder Chevron. Udenna is also one of three groups interested in SPEX’s stake. The PNOC Exploration Corporation owns the remaining ten percent.


Photo from the Philippine News Agency.