By Liza Soriano
MANILA — In order to alleviate the nation’s reliance on imports for its energy needs, Senator Win Gatchalian sponsored a Senate resolution requesting to determine the oil and gas potential in the West Philippine Sea.
The goal of the Senate investigation is to encourage the discovery, exploitation, and self-sufficiency of such oil and gas sources.
“Given persistent global energy shocks, it is important for us to ascertain the oil and gas potential in the West Philippine Sea for the country to have some level of stability and protection from the tumultuous geopolitical conflict in foreign countries that has severely impacted local energy prices,” Gatchalian said.
According to data from the Department of Energy (DOE), there are an estimated 6,203 million barrels of total oil resources and 12,158 billion cubic feet of total gas resources in the West Philippine Sea as of 2021.
Currently, there are five petroleum service contracts in the West Philippine Sea.
These are Service Contract 54 held by Nido Petroleum Philippines Pty Ltd. in Offshore Northwest Palawan, Service contract 58 held by Nido Petroleum in West Calamian or Northwest Palawan, Service Contract 59 held by the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corp. in Southwest Palawan, Service Contract 72 held by Forum (GSEC101) Ltd in Recto Bank, and Service Contract 75 held by PXP Energy Corp. in Northwest Palawan.
“The lack of oil and gas exploration and as a result of the lack of indigenous oil and gas have contributed to the country’s import dependence with 98% of petroleum products imported as of 2021 and lack of energy self-sufficiency,” Gatchalian noted.