Manny V. Pangilinan-led PXP Energy Corp. is hopeful that it could continue its exploration in its service contact (SC) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS)
PXP Energy, which holds SC 72 and 75 blocks in the WPS, suspended its exploration activities in April as ordered by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Security, Justice, and Peace Coordinating Cluster (SJPCC)
In a report by the Philippine Star, Pangilinan said that it’s crucial to determine if there is gas in the areas if the country wants to “attain some degree of energy independence.”
Pangilinan said that even with PXP Energy’s best intentions to explore their SC areas to determine if there is gas, they cannot do anything with the “outside forces” that stop them.
Last week, Foreign affairs secretary Teodoro Locsin announced the termination of the joint energy exploration agreement between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
The DOE said in a statement over the weekend that it’s currently in talks with the SJPCC and the SC holders in the WPS following the termination of the joint exploration.
In related developments, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) has asked the administration of president-elect, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to not pursue talks on the joint exploration with China and look for alternative sources instead.
Pamalakaya said that the joint venture would only “institutionalize and intensify the Chinese plunder” of the country’s marine resources.
On Monday, China said it’s ready to continue the joint exploration in the South China Sea with the country as it is “the right way for China and the Philippines to manage maritime differences.”
Earlier, Defense Secretary said that it would be up to the Marcos administration if it would resume the exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea, which include PXP Energy’s SC 72 and 75.