Poor Cebu town yields oil, natural gas reserves

Chinese drilling operators and geologists brief DOE officials at the Alegria oil field in Alegria, Cebu province. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY—Commercial quantities of natural gas and oil have been found in the southern town of Alegria, Cebu province, that will last 19 years at current production levels.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and its partner, a Chinese exploration firm, are set to start production at the onshore gas and oil site in Alegria, a fourth-class municipality located about 110 kilometers from Cebu City.


The news was welcomed by Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon, who saw the development as an opportunity for the town to improve economic activities and generate more jobs.

Town’s extra income


“This would give the town additional income that can be used to improve our social services and the implementation of other projects, especially for livelihood of our constituents,” she said by phone on Thursday.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Wednesday that the Alegria oil field in Barangay Montpeller had commercial quantities of natural gas and oil resources that could be extracted until 2037.

Cusi made the announcement after the ceremonial signing of the joint declaration of commerciality between the DOE and the service contractor, China International Mining Petroleum Company Limited (CIMP).

The DOE said exploration and drilling in the oil field by CIMP started as early as 2009 and was covered by Petroleum Service Contract No. 49.

Recoverable resource

An estimated 27.93 million barrels of oil with a possible production recovery of 3.35 million barrels, or a conservative estimate of 12 percent of total oil reserves, were found in the area.

About 9.42 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas reserves were also found, with the recoverable resource estimated at 6.6 bcf, or about 70 percent of the total natural gas reserves.


Saul Gonzales, director of the DOE Visayas Field Office, said that CIMP still had to go through several processes before they could start actual extraction in the oil field.

“As far as I can remember, this is the first area in Cebu that has been declared to have commercial viability [of gas reserve],” Gonzales said.

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