The Matinloc and Nido oilfields in northwest Palawan, the first two Philippine oilfields, ceased production after four decades of operations.
Matinloc and Nido were able to generate 18.9 million barrels of oil and 12.5 MMBO respectively during their years of operations.
“The closing of Matinloc and Nido’s production comes after over 40 fruitful years. Throughout their operations, these two oilfields have contributed significantly to our country’s energy needs,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi was quoted as saying in a Manila Standard report on Monday.
Energy officials attended the closing ceremony last week, hosted by service contract (SC) 14 A and B’s consortia, composed of The Philodrill Corp., Alcom Petroleum, Oriental Petroleum, Nido Production, Phinma Energy, and Forum Energy.
“As this chapter comes to a close, we look forward to exciting times ahead as we continue to search for similar oil and gas projects that would help us attain energy security and fuel our continued development,” Cusi said in the report.
At present, Galoc and Malampaya are the remaining major petroleum-production areas in Palawan. The Alegria oilfield in southern Cebu produces minimal volume. Previous oil discoveries in Tindalo, Cadlao, Tara, and West Linapacan are no longer commercially producing oil, while the Camago field became part of the Malampaya natural gas project.
In related news, the Department of Energy (DOE) has been pursuing investors to the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) through an international roadshow in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries in a bid to urge investor interest in the country’s upstream oil sector.
“The PCECP is a key program of the department to revitalize our upstream oil industry, which enables us to showcase what the country has to offer in terms of petroleum exploration. As we embark on the road towards energy self-sufficiency, we are in need of suitable partners who would help us harness our indigenous resources,” Cusi explained.
Per PCECP nomination process, interested companies may submit their letter of intent for the proposed area for nomination. Thereafter, the agency will notify the proponents to publish their nomination which will be subject to challenge within 60 days from publication.
“For an energy-secure future, the DOE is committed to ‘Explore, Explore. Explore’ in the pursuit or energy independence, security, and sustainability through effective and reasonable development of all indigenous energy resources in the Philippines,” the department stated.
The opening of bids under PCECP in August resulted in three nominated areas in the Sulu Sea Basin, Ragay Gulf, and Northeast Palawan Basin, and four nominations of predetermined areas in Sulu Sea, East Palawan, and Cotabato.
Currently, there are 19 active petroleum service contracts in the Philippines including Shell Philippines Exploration, Total E&P, PNOC-EC, Nido Petroleum, Philodrill, PXP Energy, and Galoc Production Company.