₱2B eyed for Malampaya drilling preps next year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — State-run Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) plans to spend ₱2 billion next year to prepare for drilling activities in the Malampaya gas field.

PNOC-EC, which holds a 10-percent minority stake in the Malampaya gas to power project, disclosed this amount during a Senate finance subcommittee deliberation on its proposed ₱11.7-billion budget for 2024 on Friday,

"Ongoing ang preparations for drilling [The preparations for drilling are ongoing] in 2025," PNOC EC President and CEO Franz Alvarez said.

“By 2025, we will drill two additional wells and hopefully… if successful po siya [if it is successful] by 2026, may production na po tayo, additional [we would have additional production],” he added.

PNOC-EC said it sees the end of Malampaya’s commercial operations in four years.

Malampaya operator Prime Energy Resources Development earlier told a Senate committee on energy hearing it will take five to 10 years to develop new indigenous gas resources in the same service area of the Malampaya project in Palawan.

In the meantime, Senate committee on energy vice chairperson Sherwin Gatchalian suggested importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to stabilize supply.

The PNOC said it is scouting for investors for a third LNG terminal in Bataan, to augment two existing ones in Batangas.