The Philippines to Offer 46 Blocks in Next Licensing Round

The Philippine Department of Energy is offering 46 new exploration blocks in its next public licensing round. These highly prospective areas are located in Northwest Palawan and the vast frontier areas in Southwest and East Palawan, the Sulu Sea and Reed Bank.

The DOE said its First Philippines Petroleum Public Contracting Round or PCR-1-which would be launched on August. 5th was a new way of awarding concessions in oil and gas exploration through competitive public bidding. The event shall coincide with the opening of the Manila data room in the DOE. PCR-1 replaces the licensing procedure that was based on a first-come first-serve basis, which barred any other participant from applying for exploration rights in the same area. "(We want) to build on the technical and commercial successes of the deepwater Malampaya gas project off Palawan, which demonstrates that giant petroleum reserves could be found in the country," Energy Secretary Vincent Perez Jr. said in a statement.

The areas to be opened for licensing covered a total of 215,000 square kilometers that are believed to have the highest potential for large oil and gas reserves. Perez said major oil exploration and production companies in Asia, North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union were invited to the launch of the program.