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Natural gas reserve found in Cebu town

/ 12:10 AM April 17, 2015

CEBU CITY—Natural gas enough to supply at most five megawatts (MW) of power to three towns has been discovered by two China-based firms engaged in oil exploration in Alegria town, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced.

Antonio Labios, the department’s regional director, said more natural gas reserves could be discovered if drilling and exploration activities of China International Mining Petroleum Co. Ltd. and Polyard Petroleum International Group Ltd. would continue in Barangay Montpellar.

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The firms found ample volume of natural gas reserve after seven months of oil exploration—enough to provide power to the entire Alegria and two other municipalities, the DOE said.

Labios welcomed the discovery as good news for Cebu in the wake of an impending power crisis due to low supply in the province.

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“Right now, the companies’ contract with the DOE is limited to exploration,” he said. “If they will start the production process for what they have found, they will have to apply for a production contract.”

Vladimir Gerchikov, vice president of Polyard Petroleum International Group, said more drilling sites were being planned in other areas with possible natural gas reserve upon compliance with government requirements.

“Right now, we are conducting an environmental assessment, a required procedure before any further development,” he said.

Equipment will be brought in from abroad once production starts in six months, Gerchikov said.

“We are not planning to bring in engineers, technicians and labor from abroad. That would be too expensive, We will hire locals and we will train them to work for us,” he said.

One resident Dionisio Baylosis, expects to be employed at the gas facility to support his family.

“The biggest problem might be the noise because the drilling process and all the machines used for the gas plant will surely make a lot of noise but, we are all willing to accept the noise pollution, as long as we get to work at the plant and get paid,” Baylosis said.

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