by Alena Mae S. Flores, January 29, 2015
from Manila Standard Today
The Energy Department has postponed by three months the deadline for the submission of applications for the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 5 to June 2015.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said in a statement he decided to adjust the timeframe for the contracting round, upon the recommendation of the review and evaluation committee.
Petilla earlier said investor interest was expected to remain strong for the 11 petroleum blocks offered for oil and gas exploration and development under PERC 5, despite the decline in world crude prices.
“We have extended the deadline to about June this year. We wanna get quality participants…so we are extending that,” he said.
“The revision will enable the potential proponents to review and evaluate the additional available marine seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation in the offered areas. Additional data will be made available in February 2015,” Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada said.
The department set the last day of acceptance of PECR 5 applications to June 30, 2015 from March 31, 2015. It also moved the endorsement of the winning applicants to Sept. 4, 2015, instead of June 4, 2015.
The department said it would ensure the smooth process of the PECR5 to guarantee the successful bidding of the country’s energy resources.
The government is offering Area 1 located in southeast Luzon; Areas 2 and 3 in Masbate and Iloilo; Areas 4 and 5 in northwest Palawan; Area 6 in southwest Palawan; Area 7 in west Palawan; and Areas 8,9,10 and 11 in west Luzon.
“Through PECR, we created an equal playing field for all interested parties, in which the government ensures that all service contracts and offered areas are in accordance with existing Philippine laws and policies,” Petilla earlier said.
“As we live within international laws, we seek all diplomatic recourse to assert our claims to the areas in the West Philippines Sea. Nevertheless, given the situation in the said area, we ensure that the country can affirm itself that the areas offered in the PECR 5 are rightfully ours,” he said.
Petilla earlier said seven companies already bought the data kits. “Even if oil prices have been plunging, it takes time to explore. It will take them years and they are actually looking at the fact that the oil prices will not remain where they are,” Petilla said.