Marcos says Cadlao oil field revival to boost locally-sourced oil products

Reviving the Cadlao oil field in Palawan signals the government's intent to maximize indigenous resources, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the President)

In a statement on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Marcos said the move of the Department of Energy (DOE) to allow the Nido Petroleum Philippines Pty. Ltd. to proceed with the survey of their drilling locations did not only maintain his administration's goal to discover indigenous resources.

But it also renewed the "government's commitment to preserve and maintain" the investment incentives for service contractors under the Presidential Decree 87 during his father's presidency.

Nido Petroleum Philippines Pty. Ltd. is the operator of Service Contract (SC) 6B which covers the revitalization of the Cadlao oil firm. With DOE's go signal, it will proceed with the site survey of their drilling locations in their service contract areas by the last quarter of this year.

According to Malacañang, the activities will pave the way for the drilling of two wells—one exploration and one appraisal— by the first half of 2023.

"For SC 6B, the appraisal well for the Cadlao oil field could lead to early oil production towards the second half of 2023 while the recoverable volumes expected from the oil field are five to six million barrels of oil," Marcos said.

"While it is a first step, it signals the government's intent to maximize indigenous resources and has attracted strong interest from foreign investors in the Philippine upstream oil and gas sector," Marcos added.

During a press briefing, Undersecretary and Office of the Press Secretary officer-in-charge (OIC) Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said the development "shows the commitment of the administration to search "locally-sourced oil products or oil exploration projects to address the surging prices of oil."

Cadlao is an old oil field that was last produced in the early 1990s with over 11 million barrels. Its operatorship was taken over by Nido Petroleum from Forum Energy Philippines Corporation (FEPC) in February 2022 to fund the 100 percent development costs, which include drilling, extended well tests, and subsequent development of the said oil field.