Government-owned PNOC-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) will decide in October on whether to give its consent to the Udenna Group’s purchase of Shell’s 45% stake in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.
Based on a Manila Standard report, PNOC-EC President Rozzano Briguez said that the state-run exploration firm may be halfway through the evaluation process for the consent.
PNOC-EC owns ten percent of Malampaya on behalf of the government. Udenna announced that subsidiary Malampaya Energy XP Pte. Ltd. (MEXP) bought Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the gas field’s operator, back in May. Before that another Udenna unit UC38 bought the other 45% from Chevron in March 2020. The Department of Energy (DOE) approved the Chevron-Udenna transaction in April.
Should the DOE approve the Shell-Udenna deal, Dennis Uy-owned Udenna would have control of Malampaya. Udenna’s Malampaya purchases have caught the ire of several senators.
Briguez has said that PNOC-EC waived its right to match MEXP’s offer, but had not given consent to the sale. He said that the firm did not pursue the right to match since such acquisition would result in SPEX becoming a government-owned and controlled corporation, which would pose operational flexibility issues.