Resumption of PH-China talks for joint energy exploration urged
by Philippine Resources - July 22, 2022
Photo credit: Armed Forces of the Philippines
Senator Robinhood Padilla filed a resolution, urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to resume bilateral talks for cooperation on oil-gas development in the West Philippine Sea.
Padilla said on Thursday Senate Resolution 9 aims to address the problems caused by the rising prices of oil due to international circumstances like the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"Now therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, urging President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to resume the bilateral talks with the People's Republic of China for the purposes of cooperation on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea," SR 9 read, citing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Philippines and China on Nov. 20, 2018.
The Philippines, SR 9 added, requires a long-term strategy to resolve its oil dependency on foreign sources as the country is vulnerable to the negative effect of the increased oil prices.
"The parties further understand that the MOU shall not be prejudicial to 'respective legal positions' which 'does not create rights or obligations under international or domestic law' and as such, there is no derogation of the Philippines' assertion of its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea," the resolution said.
Padilla said in the resolution that the execution of the MOU is a "valid exercise of the executive powers of the President" under Sec. 1, Art. VII of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, he said Sec. 2 Art. XII of the Constitution allows the Philippines to "directly undertake to or enter into co-production, joint venture or production-sharing agreements on petroleum and other mineral oils and all forces of potential energy."
"The new administration has the opportunity to resume the bilateral talks with the People's Republic of China (PRC) for purposes of cooperation in the WPS on gas and oil development without bargaining the sovereign rights of the Philippines on the disputed territories therein," Padilla said.
"In view of the gains obtained from the MOU where the GRP [Government of the Republic of the Philippines] and PRC cooperated on the terms provided therein on the gas and oil development in the WPS, the new administration can further explore these common interests of cooperation to resolve the country's oil dependency from foreign countries," he added.
Like Senators Grace Poe and Aquilino Pimentel III, Padilla also is amenable to the suspension of excise taxes on unleaded premium gas, regular gas, and diesel oil, to address the effects of rising oil prices.
Through Senate Bill 229, Padilla seeks to amend Section 148 of the National Internal Revenue Code, in which the excise tax for oil products will be automatically suspended if the average Dubai crude oil price based on the Mean of Platts Singapore will reach or exceed USD80 per barrel in three months. By Wilnard Bacelonia
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Gas drilling in Recto Bank should push through: Pimentel
Photo credit: Inkl The chair of the House Strategic Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said oil drilling activities in Recto Bank must proceed as scheduled amid rising tensions with China. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to USD18.2 billion, or around PHP910 billion, in future royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share. “We have no choice but to carry on with the drilling activities because the Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank has the potential to energize the entire national grid – not just Luzon – for the next 20 to 30 years,” Pimentel said. Pimentel said Sampaguita is “an untapped value-changing asset” that would be valuable to the country’s future energy security with up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Malampaya, which has been producing gas for the last 20 years, has only 1.6 trillion cubic feet of residual gas at best. “There is even one study suggesting that the entire Recto Bank has up to 20 trillion cubic feet of potential gas in place,” Pimentel said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in July 2016 that Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea. By virtue of the ruling, Pimentel said the Philippines enjoys absolute rights to exploit all resources in the seamount. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Next Malampaya can be found in Mindanao: PNOC EC exec
As the Malampaya natural gas field is drying up, Mindanao might have the indigenous energy resources to energize the country. In a webinar of Davao International Conference 2021 Thursday, PNOC Exploration Corp. (PNOC EC) vice president for upstream operation Jaime Bacud said Mindanao is rich in indigenous resources that can support the country’s energy requirement. Bacud said Mindanao alone has three sedimentary basins waiting for exploration for oil and gas resources. These basins include Agusan, Cotabato, and the Sulu Sea. “We still think that there is natural gas potential for these areas, and it could be where we could find the next Malampaya,” Bacud added. The Malampaya gas field, which supplies around 30 percent of Luzon’s power requirement, is the country’s lone natural gas source. As the government issued a moratorium on new coal projects, Bacud said oil and gas exploration, particularly in Mindanao, could help in the government’s goal to achieve energy independence. “We still have a lot of natural or oil and gas resources that are still untapped. And this could be our way forward to get closer to what we call energy independence,” he added. By Kris Crismundo Article courtesy of Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - February 08, 2022
Let biz sector handle Malampaya deal, PRRD tells senators
Photo credit: Shell President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday slammed the Senate resolution recommending charges against Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi and other officials over the approval of what lawmakers alleged was an anomalous sale of shares in the Malampaya gas field. In a statement, Duterte expressed "grave concern" over the Senate's adoption of the resolution, as it casts "undue, undeserved, and unwarranted aspersion" on key DOE officials. "The government values the critical role and contribution of the Malampaya Gas Field to energy security. I will not allow this valuable resource to be jeopardized and embroiled in the political antics of some members of the Senate," he said. Duterte affirmed that Cusi still has his full trust and confidence, and shall remain as the head of the energy department. He maintained that the national interest has been protected and the government's rights remain intact amid the developments involving the share sale and purchase agreement. "I am calling on our legislators to ensure that our ability to compete is not jeopardized by political intrigues and innuendoes. Leave business transactions in the capable hands of the business sector. Let us respect their business decisions while we protect our national interests," Duterte said. The resolution, penned by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, recommends the filing of criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission against Cusi and other DOE officials for approving and recommending approval of the Chevron Philippines-UC Malampaya transaction. Gatchalian said the officials violated laws for allegedly railroading the approval to the sale of the 45-percent participating interest in the Malampaya gas project of Chevron Malampaya LLC Philippines, now known as UC 38 LLC, to UC Malampaya, an indirect subsidiary of Udenna Corporation, despite the lack of financial qualification. Duterte, however, said that the sale and purchase of the stock of Chevron Malampaya LLC was a private transaction between private entities that must be respected. He also reiterated that both foreign and local investments are "vital" to the economy. "We compete for them with other countries, and our ability to do so requires me to create and maintain an environment conducive to the entry of investors," he said. Duterte said that while he recognizes the Senate's power to conduct congressional probes in aid of legislation, this should be exercised "with prudence and circumspection, devoid of reckless accusations, and focused on improving existing laws". By Filane Mikee Cervantes Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - August 05, 2022
NICKEL ASIA CORPORATION ANNOUNCES P3.83B NET INCOME FOR H1 2022, UP 41% YoY
Photo Credit: Arrow Creatives Nickel Asia Corporation, the Philippines’ largest producer of lateritic nickel ore, reported a 41-percent increase in attributable net income for the first semester this year. Based on unaudited financial and operating results for the six-month period ended June 30, 2022, attributable net income increased to P3.83 billion from P2.73 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 19 percent to P6.33 billion from P5.32 billion the year prior. Despite lower ore volume sold during the period, revenues increased by 7 percent to P11.78 billion from P11.01 billion last year, owed largely to higher nickel ore prices and favorable exchange rates. NAC’s four operating mines sold a combined 6.95 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore during the first half of the year, down 16 percent from 8.30 million WMT in the same period last year. The drop in sales volume was almost in direct proportion to unrealized workable days caused by inclement weather that adversely affected the Company’s mining operations during the period. The weighted average nickel ore sales price over the first half of year 2022 rose by 18 percent to $30.03 per WMT against $25.54 per WMT in the same period last year. The Company also realized P52.56 per US dollar from these nickel ore sales, a 9-percent increase from P48.25 last year. Breaking down the ore sales, the Company exported 3.12 million WMT of saprolite and limonite ore at the average price of $42.05 per WMT during the six-month period compared to 4.55 million WMT at $37.62 per WMT in the same period last year. Likewise, the Company delivered 3.83 million WMT of limonite ore to the Coral Bay and Taganito high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plants, the prices of which are linked to the London Metal Exchange (LME) and realized an average price of $12.52 per pound of payable nickel. This compares to 3.74 million WMT at $7.92 per pound of payable nickel in 2021. Expressed in US dollar per WMT, the average price for the deliveries to the HPAL plants were $20.23 and $10.85 in the first half of 2022 and 2021, respectively. “The first half of 2022 was not without its challenges especially for our mining operations, brought about by weather conditions at our mine sites, particularly in Surigao, and continuing lockdowns in China, our major market,” said Martin Antonio G. Zamora, President and CEO. "However, the higher LME nickel price and stronger US dollar tempered the impact on our revenues.” Owing to the higher LME nickel price during the period, NAC also recognized gains from its equity share in investments in the two HPAL plants in the combined amount of P1.09 billion against P244.1 million year-on-year. The stronger US dollar further enabled NAC to log a 353-percent hike in net foreign exchange gains from its foreign currency-denominated net financial assets to P863.5 million from P190.6 million the year prior. Total operating cash costs decreased by 2 percent year-on-year to P5.19 billion from P5.32 billion last year. On a per-WMT sold basis, total operating cash costs increased to P747 per WMT compared to P641 per WMT in 2021. For the Company’s renewable energy business, its subsidiary, Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI) energized in June 2022 another 38-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Subic, Zambales, bringing total capacity on this site to 100MW. For 2022, the Subic plant has been operating at an 18- 19% plant efficiency factor with 90% of generation contracted under power sales agreements. EPI has realized an average tariff of P4.65 per kilowatt hour. EPI has another 100MW service contract for the Subic site and will commence construction of a 68-MW farm in August. Completion is expected by the third quarter of next year. EPI was also chosen by Shell Overseas Investments B.V. to be its exclusive local partner in a solar, onshore wind, and battery storage joint venture that aims to contribute up to 3GW into the Philippines’ renewable capacity. NAC is evaluating a range of financing alternatives including accessing global debt capital markets to raise EPI’s share of the equity required for an initial 1GW target by 2028, among other uses. The Company’s strong financial position will allow it to be opportunistic in evaluating funding options that meet the primary objective of maintaining a flexible low-cost capital structure. “We remain confident that our mining and renewable energy businesses provide a solid foundation on which to realize the OneNAC Vision’s twin objectives, which is to become the premier ESG investment in the country and to be counted among the Top 25 PSE-listed companies in terms of market capitalization by 2025,” said Zamora. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022
Further shallow copper mineralisation identified at MCB
Figure 3. Cross section of drill hole MCB-039 relative to the interpreted geology and significant assay results. We (Celsius Resources) are pleased to announce we have received further shallow and high-grade copper assay results from the ongoing drilling program at our flagship MCB copper-gold project, held under our Philippine subsidiary Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”). The results continue to identify new positions of shallow mineralisation which are in line with other recent drilling results from holes MCB-036, MCB-037 and MCB-038 (see CLA announcements dated 13 December 2021, 23 May 2022 and 4 July 2022 respectively) confirming the presence of an extensive shallow higher-grade position. The results from MCB-039 were designed to further expand the size of the shallow higher-grade copper zones which are considered to have an important positive impact on early mining options at MCB. The current drill hole in progress (MCB-040) is similarly designed to further expand the higher-grade copper mineralisation leading to potential improvements to the economics of the already positive Scoping Study at MCB as reported by Celsius on 1 December 2021. “The results from MCB are continuing to grow the size of the shallow higher-grade copper zones,” said Country Operations Director, Peter Hume. “We are getting much better definition now on the various high-grade zones, which are important for the optimisation of the MCB mine plan. We can see many good high-grade intersections coming together to expand on the earlier understanding of these high-grade zones. Where we get multiple high-grade zones staked on top of each other, we can achieve outstanding results, as recently announced from hole MCB-038 which intersected 611.4m @ 1.39% copper and 0.75g/t gold from 32.5m.” RESULTS FROM MCB-039 Drill hole MCB-039 was drilled to further confirm the interpretation that further shallow high-grade positions exist as a relatively flat body extending into the surrounding host rocks (see Figures 2 and 3). This drill hole was more specifically targeted to fill a gap in the drilling information where there was previously defined lower grade copper mineralisation. The results from MCB-039 have confirmed the further extensions to the higher-grade copper mineralisation as part of a series of relatively flat lying, high-grade zones which are extending away from vertically orientated feeder structures which are all closely related to an intrusive Tonalite rock (Figure 3). Figure 2. Location of MCB-039 drill hole relative to recent and historical diamond drilling at MCB. A large broader envelope of copper mineralisation at a lower cut-off grade at approximately 0.2% copper also continues to be better defined, highlighting the very large scale of the copper-gold mineralisation at the MCB deposit. Table 1: Significant intersections from drill holes MCB-039. Article courtesy of Celsius Resources. Full press release can be found HERE
Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022
Diokno banks on mining for sustained economic recovery, expansion
Photo credit: PNA - Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the mining industry is a potential source of sustained economic growth as he underscored the benefit of mobilizing investments for mine development. “The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high. The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources,” he said Wednesday at the listing of Philex Mining Corporation’s (Philex) common shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Philex is mobilizing investments for the development of its Silangan underground copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte. In a disclosure to the PSE, the company said it is offering a maximum of 842 million common shares at the rate of one offer share for every 5.8674 shares owned for PHP3.15 each to raise a total of PHP2.652 billion new equity. The stocks rights offering (SRO) period started on July 12, 2022 and ended July 25, 2022. The Silangan project, considered one of the biggest copper-gold mines in the country, is planned to be mined in two phases. The first phase has a mineable ore reserve of 81 million metric tonnes which will be mined for 22 years at a rate of 4 million tonnes per year. The mine is targeted to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025. Diokno said Philex’ SRO listing demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects. He said the offering means more jobs will be created, local economies will be reinvigorated, and additional revenues will be contributed to the government. The Department of Finance (DOF) estimates that the project will generate around PHP8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life. Diokno said the listing sends a strong signal to the mining industry that the country's capital markets are viable instruments for fast tracking the development of large mining projects. He said the Marcos administration is committed to continue creating an enabling environment for mining activities to flourish in the country as he looks forward to similar listings in the future. “We recognize that apart from boosting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” he added. Diokno said the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices. He said the mining industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities, and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda. “This is a non-negotiable condition so we can guarantee the sustainability of the industry and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” he said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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