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PH, China agree to resume oil, gas talks at an 'early date'
by Philippine Resources - January 09, 2023
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos Facebook page)
The Philippine and Chinese governments have agreed to resume talks on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea at an "early date" following the bilateral summit between President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan. 4.
In a joint statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said discussions would build upon the outcomes of the previous negotiations during the Duterte administration, "with a view of benefiting the two countries and their peoples."
"On oil and gas cooperation, both sides agreed to bear in mind the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Philippines signed in 2018, and agreed to resume discussions on oil and gas development at an early date," the statement read.
The two parties also agreed to explore cooperation in areas of solar power, wind energy, electric vehicles and nuclear energy for electricity generation, among others.
Talks on a possible oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea were terminated during the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte over constitutional constraints.
After repeated requests from China, both sides eventually held an "initial discussion" in July and August for the possible revival of negotiations.
The public is assured that any agreement that would come out from the discussions would be "in accordance with the Philippine Constitution".
The 1987 Constitution states that the exploration, development, and use of natural resources should be under the "full control and supervision" of the Philippine government.
'Not the sum total'
Meanwhile, Marcos and Xi agreed to appropriately manage the South China Sea row through peaceful means as they emphasized that maritime issues "do not comprise the sum total of relations" between Manila and Beijing.
Both sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace and stability in the region and the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.
The two leaders, the joint statement said, had also "reached consensus on the peaceful resolution of disputes" on the basis of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the United Nations Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Stronger maritime cooperation between Manila and Beijing is also expected as both parties agreed to collaborate closely on the mitigation of marine debris and microplastics and towards the establishment of a partnership between coastal model cities of the two countries.
During the summit, Marcos and Xi made a commitment to further strengthen the China-Philippines relationship of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation under new circumstances, "as close neighbors, kin and partners that help and understand each other towards win-win results".
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 - January 30, 2023
PHILEX MINING GEARS UP FOR EXPANSION, SIGNIFIES INTEREST IN MACAWIWILI
In photo at the signing of the term sheet between PMC and MGMDCI were: (seated, left to right) Felicisimo A. Feria, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Michael L. Escaler, all representing MGMDCI; Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman; and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., Philex President and CEO; (standing, left to right) Atty. Katrina Janine Sta. Ana, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Bryan George Manzano, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Michelle Carisse Balois, Partner, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; Atty. Daneia Isabelle Palad, Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Winston Cruz, Vice-President and General Counsel, Philex Mining Corporation; Romeo B. Bachoco, Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino, Director, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Barbara Anne C. Migallos, Director and Corporate Secretary, Philex Mining Corporation and Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Raymond Francis Jamora, Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; and Atty. Michael John Tantoco, Jr., Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices. (PMC photo) Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest copper and gold producers in Southeast Asia, recently set into motion its plans for expansion with the signing of a Term Sheet with Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. (“MGMDCI”) in simple ceremonies in Makati City. Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. is a 90-year old company engaged in mineral exploration and production in Itogon, Benguet. With over 800 hectares of contract area under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, the Company has been exploring various mineral deposits, including gold and copper, for several decades. The Term Sheet outlines the parties’ clear intentions to explore commercial, financial, and technical avenues in preparation for possible shares acquisition by the Company in MGMDCI. Activities to kick off this partnership will include conduct of due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Itogon, Benguet Province., located adjacent to the existing Padcal Mine of the Company. Signing the Term Sheet on behalf of the Company were Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., President and CEO; while representing the shareholders of MGMDCI were Michael G. Escaler, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Felicisimo A. Feria. The signing was also witnessed by directors and officers of the Company as well as counsel for both parties. “Our interest to pursue investments in the Macawiwili property” according to Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., President and CEO, “is part of our business direction for this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions.” “We need to hit the ground with this at the soonest possible time,” Austin adds, “considering that this property is adjacent to our Padcal mine and would go a long way in fulfilling company plans for expansion and extension of the life-of-mine of Padcal. “This is a good addition or extension to the Padcal Mine,” according to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman. “I hope that this is the start of something good and that it would ride the wave of higher metal prices in gold and copper.” Pangilinan emphasized that “any addition, expansion, or extension to the Padcal Mine would greatly benefit not just our employees and their families, but also our host and neighboring communities, and our nation as a whole.” Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DMCI Holdings, SMPC among best governed PLCs
Photo caption (left to right): SMPC Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager Joseph D. Susa, DMCI Holdings Board Advisor and SMPC Independent Director Honorio O. Reyes-Lao and SMPC SVP, Chief Risk, Compliance and Performance Officer Junalina S. Tabor. Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings and its energy subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) were among the Philippine listed companies recognized for their corporate governance performance by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). DMCI Holdings received the 2 Golden Arrow recognition while SMPC was awarded the 3 Golden Arrow recognition. Both have been ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) Golden Arrow awardees since 2019. The awards were conferred after the two companies exhibited observable conformance with the Philippine Code of Corporate Governance and internationally recommended corporate governance practices as espoused by the ACGS. The ACGS measures the performance of the companies in the areas of facilitating the rights and the equitable treatment of shareholders, how they relate to their different stakeholders, ensuring transparency and accountability through timely disclosure of material information, and how the board guides the company strategically, monitors the management, and ensures the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. Over 80 Philippine listed companies were feted during the in-person awarding ceremony in Sheraton Manila Hotel last January 20. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DOTr to prevent more delays in PNR Clark Phase 2 project
Photo credit: DOTr The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will work closely with the contractor of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project to ensure that issues are addressed after its projected completion date was delayed by eight months. In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said the project, initially slated for completion in June 2024, has been delayed until June 2025 due to the delay in the turnover of the land to project contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction. “Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay,” it said. About 48 buildings and facilities are expected to be built by POSCO at the project site, meant to be the Clark Depot of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). “As of December 31, 2022, more than 33% of the planned construction has been completed,” it said. In addition to buildings and facilities, the Clark Depot will have 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking areas for the trains and 12 other tracks to access maintenance facilities. During a site visit at the project site, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot is where the operations control center will be located which will serve as the “heart of operations” of the rail service. “It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DOTr will work closely with [the contractor], so we can fix problems and address issues,” Bautista said. The 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the NSCR and will link multiple cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project is seen to cut travel time between Malolos City in Bulacan province and Clark, Pampanga province from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. This part of the NSCR also includes the Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport through a 55-minute train ride. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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