6 groups bid to explore 7 areas for oil, gas deposits.
The Department of Energy yesterday formally acknowledged the applications of six groups for a total of seven areas across the archipelago where the companies hope to find commercially viable deposits of oil and gas.
This suggests a lukewarm response to the government's drive to reinvigorate petroleum exploration in the country, having offered 14 'pre-determined areas' (PDAs) for service contracting as well as allowing investors to choose their own prospective areas beyond the list.
During the ceremonial opening of sealed applications held yesterday at the DOE head office in Taguig City, companies put forward proposals related to four PDAs and three 'nominated areas' (NAs).
Radio Petroleum Ltd.-already holding Service Contract No. 76 for the East Palawan basin-applied for a new contract covering an offshore area in the same geological region called PDA No. 3.
All-Filipino firm Sulu Sea Energy Resources Development Corp. (SSERDC) is eyeing a contract for an offshore area within the Sulu Sea basin (PDA No. 6). SSERDC has also applied for a service contract for its own nominated area in the same basin (NA No. 1).
Cotabato City-based Esmaulana Global Ventures Co. Inc. wants a contract for PDA No. 6 as well as an inland area in the Cotabato basin (PDA No. 10).
Philodrill Corp. in partnership with PXP Energy Corp.- both of which are already active petroleum producers-applied for another offshore area in the Sulu Sea basin (PDA No. 7).
Troika Giant Power Corp. wants a contract for an area it identified in the Northwest Palawan basin (NA No. 2).
Finally, Superior Shipyards Inc., which is in the engineering, shipbuilding, shipping, trading and real estate businesses-also identified a prospective offshore area in the Ragay Gulf west of the Bicol peninsula (NA No. 3).
All the applications submitted so far will undergo evaluation toward possible grant of service contracts.
Last month, the DOE said it received from 11 companies 21 requests for rights to look for petroleum reserves in portions of the Recto Bank-a subject of territorial disputes-as well as Sulu Sea, Palawan, Quezon, Albay and Mindoro.
Of the 21, the DOE said it has granted 'area clearances' to seven requests. This means that there is no overlap between the areas that the applicants want to explore.