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Government To Bid Out 8 Areas For Coal, Petroleum, Hydrogen Exploration

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Government To Bid Out 8 Areas For Coal, Petroleum, Hydrogen Exploration

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The Department of Energy (DOE) launched on Monday eight predetermined areas (PDAs) for exploration, development, and production of indigenous energy sources across the country.

Four of these are in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), three of which are for petroleum and one for coal.

DOE Undersecretary Alessandro Sales, during the launch in Quezon City, said the coal exploration in BARMM, tagged as PDA-BC-1, is in Kapai and Tagoloan, Lanao del Sur, covering 14,856 hectares.

He said bidding is only open for local companies.

For petroleum exploration, these include PDA-BP-1 in the Cotabato Basin that covers Cotabato City and the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte with a total area of 229,240 hectares.

The DOE, in a statement, said 14 wells have been drilled in the area, 10 of which had oil and gas shows.

The other two, PDA-BP-2 and PDA-BP-3, are in the Sulu Sea Basin, it said.

It said six wells have been drilled within the 780,000-hectare PDA-BP-2, where there are three gas discoveries as well as one oil and gas shows; while seven wells were drilled within the 532,083-hectare PDA-BP-3, and four of which had gas shows.

It said explorations in the southern part of the country were halted due to peace and order concerns, but noted that establishment of the BARMM government has addressed security and has helped in building confidence in the area among potential investors.

Meanwhile, four PDAs in Luzon and Visayas under the 2024 Philippine Bid Round 2 were also offered to investors, two of which are for petroleum development and production while the other two are for exploration of native hydrogen sources in the Zambales-Pangasinan area.

The PDA-DP-1 is the Offshore Northern Palawan, a 100,000-hectare area located 60 kilometers from the north coast of Busuanga Island.

“It includes five wells, which led to the discovery of the Calauit and Calauit South oil fields, with an estimated reserve of 5.5 to 6.1 million barrels of oil (MMbbls). Recent studies of the area also revealed additional prospects ranging from 0.1 to 1.8 MMbbls of oil,” the DOE said.

On the other hand, the Visayan Basin, or the PDA-DP-2 in southern Cebu, covers 8,638 hectares with estimated resources of 26.3 to 31.9 MMbbls of oil and favorable amounts of gas appearing in other exploratory wells.

“Recent production from six wells in the block, which produced 19,791.26 barrels of crude oil from 2018 to 2023, is located in the municipality of Alegria,” the DOE said.

The two PDAs for natural hydrogen exploration, the PDA-PH-1 and PDA-PH-2, cover 134,096 and 96,439 hectares, respectively.

Sales said foreign entities can participate 100 percent in petroleum and natural hydrogen explorations in the country.

He said well drilling costs around PHP1.1 billion to PHP5 billion (USD20 million to USD90 million), depending on the depth and the area it covers.

The event attracted local and foreign companies that include Baseline Unlimited Inc., The PhiloDrill Corporation, Helios Aragon PTE Ltd, V1 Countrywide Realty Corp., Asia Axis Inc., PXP Energy Corp., Western Sulu Gulf Oil Corp., Energy China Phils Branch Office, ExxonMobil, Prime Energy, Minsupala Energy and Mineral Resource Devt Corp., Oriental Petroleum and Minerals Corp., Freedom Renewable Energy Corp., and Triangle Energy.

With this data, DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla encouraged local and foreign companies to tap opportunities in exploring and developing the Philippines’ indigenous energy sources.

“Leveraging on these opportunities, we invite local and foreign investors to be our partners in achieving energy security and self-sufficiency in the region and the entire Philippines,” he said.

“As we go one step forward to harnessing these resources, our aspirations of promoting economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and nurturing a thriving business landscape in the region draw even closer,” he added.

Deadline for submission of bids for coal PDA for BARMM is on Apr. 26 and the submission of bids for native hydrogen and petroleum PDAs is on Aug. 27. (PNA)