Sampaguita gas drilling will ‘forcefully assert’ PH rights over WPS – solon
MANILA, Philippines — The drilling at the Sampaguita gas field will show the Philippines’ determination to enforce its rights over the Recto Bank, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said in a statement issued on Monday.
Pimentel, who chairs the House Committee on Strategic Intelligence, made the remark following a survey that showed eight out of 10 Filipinos would want the next president to assert the country’s rights over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“We are counting on Forum Energy Ltd.’s offshore drilling in Sampaguita to demonstrate that the Philippines is determined to enforce its undivided rights over Recto Bank’s vast petroleum resources,” Pimentel said.
“In fact, this early, we want Forum to contract the drillship for Sampaguita,” he added.
Pimentel stressed that under the law “all of the government’s private petroleum service contractors, including Forum, are required to exert maximum efforts to discover and produce gas and/or oil as soon as possible.”
“We need Sampaguita developed right away to guarantee the country’s long-term energy security, considering that Malampaya will run out of gas by 2027,” Pimentel said.
Earlier, he said that the Philippines had “no choice” but to proceed with the drilling at Recto Bank, regardless of the ongoing tension with China in the contested waters.
Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to $18.2 billion (P910 billion) in royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share.
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