House Strategic Intelligence Committee Chairperson Rep. Johnny Pimentel has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift suspension of oil and gas drilling activities in the Recto Bank, also known as the Reed Tablemount.
This, following the total termination of oil and gas discussions between the Philippines and China; specifically pertaining to talks of joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“The DOE put off the drilling activities in deference to the negotiations. Now that the talks have been terminated, the department should withdraw its suspension order,” Surigao del Sur solon. Pimentel said on Sunday, June 26.
In his statement, Pimentel cited the DOE’s suspension of WPS exploration activities of private operators of Service Contract (SC) 72 and SC 75 which took effect last April as a result of Chinese harassment.
“This way, the private parties contracted by the Philippine government to develop the offshore Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank can proceed with their drilling activities,” he said.
Pimentel previously expressed support for deep-water drilling operations by the Philippine drilling contractors in the Sampaguita gas fields.