A team from Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. will be retained to run the Malampaya gas project in northwest Palawan after the acquisition by Malampaya Energy XP Pte. Ltd., a unit of Udenna Corp., an official said over the weekend.
“There is a great team already in place at SPEX who will continue to run and maintain Malampaya. What Malampaya Energy brings is not only our own highly-qualified team with hundreds of years of combined upstream experience, but also agility and a willingness to invest in growth together with our SC [Service Contract] 38 partner PNOC-EC [PNOC Exploration Corp.],” Malampaya Energy executive Belinda Racela said in a statement.
The company said it is fully committed to continue delivering safe, reliable and sustainable energy supply from Malampaya by retaining the world-class SPEX team and immediately reversing the seven-year hiatus on exploration activities.
Malampaya Energy said there was a need to “rejuvenate the nation’s only producing natural gas asset as oil majors exit upstream operations in the Philippines”.
“The situation is now urgent and requires new investment and the industry’s best exploration and development capabilities to drive growth from the currently depleting asset,” said Racela.
“It’s clear that any further delay is hugely detrimental to Filipino consumers and to the economic prospects of the nation. We need to focus on augmenting Malampaya gas supply now to ensure fewer brownouts and safeguard long-term energy security,” she said.
Malampaya Energy said indigenous energy would always be the most cost-competitive solution to meet rapidly-growing energy demand from Filipino consumers.
“We have the opportunity to enter a new era of growth where Malampaya will be operated by Filipinos for Filipinos, and we have to act now if we are to extend the life of the Malampaya field,” the company said.
The company earlier warned the Philippines might fall short of natural gas by 2022 and further delay would exacerbate the worsening electricity situation.
Malampaya Energy is seeking government’s nod for its acquisition of the 45-percent stake of SPEX. The completion of the acquisition would make the Malampaya project 90-percent owned by Malampaya Energy which is led by businessman Dennis Uy.
The Department of Energy has yet to start its review of the sale but assured it would thoroughly study Malampaya Energy’s compliance with the technical, financial and legal requirements of the government.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian earlier raised doubts over the technical competence of Malampaya Energy to run the Malampaya gas project, the biggest petroleum producing asset of the country.