PNOC can now farm out oil, gas search projects
The state-owned Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corp. (PNOC EC) is now allowed to assign to other entities its participation in projects that search for oil and gas, as the government strives to gain momentum in its drive to renew exploration activities in the country.
President Duterte signed on Tuesday Executive Order No. 80, which repealed EO No. 556 issued in 2006, which prohibits the PNOC EC from farming out projects to third parties.
“Farming in” or “farming out” refers to an industry practice of allowing third-party participation in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas as a way of spreading risks that are inherent in the business.
The PNOC EC has three Petroleum Service Contracts (SCs) to its name that are still in the exploration stage.
SC No. 57 issued in 2005 covers a 712,000-hectare area in northwestern Palawan. SC No. 63 dated 2006, covers a 1.056 million-hectare area in southwestern Palawan, while SC No. 47, also dated 2005, covers a 1.048-million-hectare area in offshore Mindoro.
Earlier this month, the Department of Energy (DOE) sent sorties to Singapore and the United States to drum up investor interest in its Conventional Energy Contracting Program, with 14 onshore and offshore areas available for petroleum exploration concessions.
There are also four areas under service contracts affected by the moratorium on exploration activities which the DOE imposed due to Chinese activities in those areas.
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