P5B investments in oil, gas seen

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    The Department of Energy (DOE) expects at least $103 million or about P5 billion investments in oil and gas following the lifting of the moratorium in exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) last week.

    “The estimated investments by the service contractors is $25 million upon lifting of the force majeure and a total of $78 million use for the total remaining work commitment program period of exploration,” said DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III in a virtual briefing over the weekend.

    The moratorium was implemented in 2015 due to the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.

    DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said China is yet to be informed. The Philippines and China earlier forged a memorandum of understanding on a possible joint exploration in the WPS.

    Cusi said the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy were tasked to patrol the perimeter of the SC holders’ structures and work area for security in anticipation of the resumption of exploration activities.

    Resume-to-work notices had been sent to contractors doing petroleum-related activities in the areas of SCs 59, 72 and 75 in the WPS being operated by the PNOC-Exploration Corp., Forum Ltd. and PXP Energy Corp.