Malampaya gas field may be depleted during next year's election period, solon warns

Published June 22, 2021, 7:41 PM

by Ben Rosario

Malampaya gas turbine

Malampaya gas fields are in danger of being completely depleted as early as next year and will pose energy problems in time for next year’s political exercise.

House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate revealed this information allegedly coming from industry insiders.

Previously, experts predicted that the natural gas fields will be exhausted in 2027 as they estimated that only 858,834 million standard cubic feet remained as of September 2020.

However, Zarate said that based on the information he received, the Malampaya gas fields may run out five years earlier.

“If we are being threatened by yellow and red alerts, as well as rotational brownouts now, then we will have a bigger energy problem next year if Malampaya conks out or its gas production is drastically reduced,” warned the opposition leader.

“This especially is of utmost concern since next year is an election year and we are in the midst of this grave crisis aggravated by this Covid pandemic,” said Zarate.

He said the Department of Energy must reveal its plans in trying to “prevent or at least prepare against” the possible consequences of Malampaya’s collapse.

“We learned that the DOE is already made aware of the depleting gas reserves in the Malampaya field– and that has been the main reason for the 75-day restriction in production that happened between March to June this year – but we have yet to see or hear any concrete action of DOE on the issue,”he said.

“As it is, the limited output of the Malampaya facility primarily lowered the scale of electricity generation of the Ilijan plant – and that de-rated its output by roughly 430 to 450MW within March-June stretch and is one of the reasons for the current yellow and red alerts,” said Zarate.

“Malampaya’s lowered production is already being felt now; it is a big problem for the gas-fired plants in the coming months. The DOE must bare its plan now on how to prevent these brownouts,” he explained.