The remaining gas from the Malampaya Gas Field could have been used as a stabilizing source of supply to mitigate price volatility in the gas market, rather than allowing a change of hands in its ownership and operations, a think tank group said.
In a Business World report, Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development executive director Gerry Arances said that the government missed the chance in allowing the ownership transfer which made “no difference for consumers who still have to pay high electricity prices.”
The Department of Energy (DOE) earlier approved Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc.’s acquisition of Shell’s 45% interest in Malampaya. Operator Shell Philippines Exploration B.V (SPEX) is now a subsidiary of Prime Infra.
As Malampaya faces its nearing depletion, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities adviser Alberto Dalusung III said that liquefied natural gas is not appearing to be an economic energy source up to the medium term, adding that the “only practical source of gas for the Philippines will be indigenous gas.”
Dalusung added that the government must intensify its focus on developing indigenous sources. He has also expressed support for the Department of Justice’s legal opinion to allow full foreign investment in renewable energy projects.
The DOE said that imports of LNG would stabilize the natural gas supply and ensure the continuous operations of five power plants totaling 3,453 megawatts (MW) that all run on Malampaya gas.