PETROLEUM INVESTMENTS, MALAKAS SA PINAS: DOE seeks new petroleum contracts

Petroleum association appeals to gov’t over COA ruling, cites negative impacts

The Department of Energy (DOE) will be on a five-country roadshow to attract investments from oil companies for a new round of petroleum contracting.

The countries the energy department is planning to visit are: Singapore, United States of America, United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi, and Argentina.

Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III will head the Singapore leg, which will be this week at the Southeast Asia Petroleum Exploration Society (SEAPEX). Pulido will also be doing a presentation at the plenary session of the event, aside from the department’s one-on-one presentation on potential contractors.

However, there are concerns whether DOE’s plan will be successful as there are still “domestic issues” that haven’t been addressed yet on the investment policy of the oil and gas industry.

For instance, the energy department can’t convince its counterpart department at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to lift the exploration moratorium at the diplomatically strained areas in the West Philippine Sea due to Chinese government’s pending imprimatur.

In addition, the DOE hasn’t been able to secure Malacañang’s go signal of policy changes regarding to the import and export deals of petroleum service contracts.

DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi is still pitching for “Explore, Explore, Explore” for petroleum blocks under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting.

Initially interested companies will submit their offers next month on the 14 predetermined areas in the country’s petroleum contracting program.

“It is urgent that we intensify our exploration and development activities. We need to become energy self-sufficient so we are better protected from international price market volatilities,” the energy chief was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.