The Malampaya gas fields could be replaced in late 2026 or early 2027.
This is the timetable being considered by the Philippine National Oil Corporation EC (PNOC-EC) when it starts drilling in the fourth quarter of 2021 at its service contract (SC) 57 which is located northwest of the Malampaya gas fields and is also near the Calamian group.
The timetable was given by energy officials during a public hearing of the Senate energy committee chaired by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on gas and oil prospects for the Philippines after President Duterte recently lifted the moratorium on oil explorations in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
The public hearing was to held to tackle the budgets of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its attached agencies, and other issues.
Senator Maria Josefa Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos said she is ‘’excited’’ by the prospective oil and gas explorations in the WPS.
Retired Lt. General Rozano D. Briguez, PNOC-EC President and Chief Executive Officer, said SC 57 has ‘’more promise’’ of having substantial gas reserves but there is also a need to have data on the neighbor of SC 57 which is marked SC 29 to determine its potential.
Gatchalian said a positive result in the SC 57 has implications on the country’s energy supply because the gas production of Malampaya would start to diminish in 2024.
With the lifting of the moratorium, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and its partner, PNOC-EC can now already proceed with their own exploration efforts.
Briguez said he and the DOE has met with the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on security arrangements.
SC 57 has some three fourths or 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas compared to Malampaya which has 2.9 to 3.2 trillion cubic feet.