West PHL Sea 100% has natural gas reserve – Gatchalian

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The Philippines is looking for a new source of natural gas amid Malampaya Gas-to-Power Project franchise’s expiration in 2024. “After 2024, mag-iimport tayo kaya as early as now ay pinag-uusapan na natin ito dahil magtatayo pa ng mga facilities para sa pag-import,” said Senator Win Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, after a public hearing tackling the said issue on June 18.

“The only way we can find new sources of natural gas is mag-explore tayo. Dito tayo nagkakaroon ng problema sa West Philippine Sea dahil ang Malampaya, kaunting hakbang lang ay West Philippine Sea na at hindi tayo maka-explore sa sarili nating exclusive economic zone,” he added.

However, dispute in West Philippine Sea is preventing the country to explore for natural gas.

“100% merong natural gas sa West Philippine Sea dahil proven na yung reserve diyan eh. Hindi lang tayo makapag-explore right now dahil may conflict sa West Philippine Sea,” he said.

He said that after exploration, developing a new facility to produce natural gas is 5 to 7 years.

“For example, naka-discover tayo in West Philippine Sea this year, it will take an additional 5-7 years to produce pero ang kagandahan niyan ay sarili natin, hindi na tayo mag-iimport, hindi na tayo bibili sa ibang bansa, sarili na natin yan,” he said.

However, a gap, according to Gatchalian, is inevitable. “Meron talagang gap na mag-iimport tayo. Dapat mag-import tayo dahil sa presyo ngayon ay mababa, mas mura ang lalabas na magiging presyo ng ating kuryente, mas mababa pa rin, lumalabas almost 4.30 pesos pag imported natural gas.”

Gatchalian said that according to the Department of Energy (DOE), importing natural gas is cheaper than coal.

“Dito sa hearing natin, kung mag-iimport tayo ng natural gas, mas mura siya kaysa sa coal kaya pinagpapatuloy natin itong development ng natural gas para mapababa natin ang presyo ng kuryente,” he said.

Source: http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/0618_gatchalian1.asp