Businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, who leads the Service Contract (SC) 72 consortium, said he needs a technical partner to proceed with the exploration of the Recto Bank oil and gas field in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Pangilinan, based on a Philippine Star report, said that talks regarding a possible partnership with Chinese government-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) as technical partner, have yet to progress.
The consortium already has three partners, but Pangilinan said they need a fourth one, specifically with technical expertise to develop the gas field.
Aside from Pangilinan, Enrique Razon’s Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc. (MORE), and Roberto Ongpin’s Atok Big Wedge currently comprise the SC72 consortium.
Pangilinan’s PXP Energy controls the majority of Forum Energy, which owns 70% of the consortium, while MORE owns the remaining 30%. Atok has a 20% stake in Forum.
Last year, PXP Energy presented a preliminary and revised work plan to the Department of Energy to explore for oil and gas in the WPS after the lifting of the moratorium on drilling activities in the disputed waters.
The firm still needs to do multiple survey work for the SC to determine where to place the oil rigs.
The Recto Bank area is estimated to have as much as 16.6 trillion cubic feet of gas and 416 million barrels of oil.
In 2018, PXP and CNOOC signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore SC72. However, negotiations were put on hold because of the exploration moratorium.
Photo from First Pacific Leadership Academy website.