Australian company shows interest in Sulu Sea gas
DAVAO CITY—An Australian energy company has expressed interest in tapping the gas deposits in the Sulu Sea to help bring low-cost electricity to the Bangsamoro region and the rest of the country.
Graham Elliott, executive director of the New South Wales-based Energy World Corp., said their interest in the Sulu Sea stemmed from the company’s current project of building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) hub in Pagbilao town in Quezon province.
The facility is set to serve the gas supply needs of a power plant that can generate at least 3,000 megawatts and will distribute electricity in Luzon.
Based on existing information about the gas deposits, Elliott said they might need to put up about $1 billion in investment, of which $300 million would be prospectively used for construction of the facilities.
Sometime in 2011, the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 4 has offered to interested investors 15 blocks covering a total of some 100,339 square kilometers of area to mine gas deposits, which are “mainly located in frontier regions.”
One exploration block in the Sulu Sea covered around 432,000 hectares with water depths ranging from 1,500 to 5,000 meters, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Of the eight wells drilled within the Sulu Sea block, “five of these have significant oil and gas shows.” This block, the DOE said, holds around 209 million barrels of oil and 716 billion cubic feet of gas.
The DOE also said that three of four additional wells drilled adjacent to the block “have been declared as gas discoveries” with an estimated deposit of some 775 billion cubic feet.
Elliott said LNG-fueled power plants produce cheaper electricity compared with those fueled by fossils like coal and petroleum.
“Once we have that permission, then we can move forward with the final planning of the project and the implementation,” he said. INQ
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