Major natural gas well found in Isabela
THE STATE-RUN Philippine National Oil Company–Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) has discovered the country’s next major commercial natural gas supply at its Mangosteen project in Santiago City in Isabela.
The news was shared with the Inquirer by Gemiliano Lopez Jr., PNOC-EC chair and former Manila mayor, in a phone interview.
“Umapoy na ang Mangosteen (Mangosteen flared up), indicating a successful gas find. It happened around 11:45 p.m. (on Monday),” he said, quoting PNOC-EC geologists.
“The good Lord has answered our prayers,” Lopez said.
He said he had “prepared a report about the good news and promptly relayed it to President Aquino.”
“By the grace of God, we found natural gas within the President’s term, one that would complement the production of the Malampaya offshore project in Palawan and allow us to supply additional cheap and clean energy to our people,” he said
Early this month, Lopez said they had “spud the Mangosteen well, which is within our Service Contract 37 program in the Cagayan Basin.”
“We are confident of finding the country’s next gas field that can provide additional megawatts of energy using clean natural gas,” he had said.
PNOC-EC records showed that the Mangosteen field—located 8 kilometers south of Santiago, Isabela—had a recoverable resource potential of 71-billion cubic feet of natural gas reserves that could contribute 60 megawatts to the Luzon power grid for more than 15 years.
The Malampaya project, with its output of 3.7-trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 85-million barrels of condensate that can generate 2,700 MW until 2022, is definitely much bigger than Mangosteen.
The latter, however, has the advantage of being based on land, unlike Malampaya which is located offshore and whose reserves are over 3,000 meters below sea level.
Mangosteen only needs a 500-km pipeline to deliver its output to the Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo gas-fired power plants in Batangas in Southern Luzon.
If the PNOC-EC upgrades the Mangosteen project to a gas-to-power project like Malampaya, “100 percent of its revenue will go to the government,” said a company insider.
On the other hand, the company owns only 10 percent of Malampaya with the majority controlled by foreign oil interests.
Incorporated in 1976, PNOC-EC is mandated through the Department of Energy to take the lead in exploring, developing and producing the nation’s oil, natural gas and coal resources.
Last year, the company embarked on a $22-million Baragatan energy exploration project off the western coast of Palawan, which is estimated to contain between 676 million and 977 million barrels of oil.
Should it succeed in producing oil from this prospect, it could supply roughly 10 percent of the country’s crude oil requirements.