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New energy exploration contracts up for bidding

The Department of Energy will offer new exploration contracts for geothermal, oil and gas and coal in the next bidding round next month, the fourth to be conducted by the government since 2004.

“We are now moving in that direction and my instruction is to have these people who are wanting to do exploration and development work to present to us,” Reyes said.

The department in 2004 opened promising sites for coal, geothermal and petroleum exploration and development to bidding under the so-called first Philippine Energy Contracting Round.

It offered in 2006 nine petroleum exploration contracts on 71,357.30 square kilometers in the prospective basins of East Palawan and Mindoro-Coyo, and in Cagayan, Central Luzon, Visayas and Agusan-Davao.

The department is offering three areas for geothermal exploration, development or direct utilization for power generation in the current round. These areas, located in Batangas, Biliran and Compostela Valley, have a combined potential power generation of about 100 megawatts.

Fourteen coal areas are also being offered for exploration, development and production. They are located in Quezon, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental and Zamboanga Sibugay with a total resource potential of 421 million metric tons of coal.

Reyes said the department wanted to hold the contracting round at the soonest possible time to ensure the country’s energy independence in the wake of high world oil prices.

“The sooner, the better. If we have some more applications before Christmas we will try to hold it,” he added.

The department has come up with a new ruling requiring exploration companies to make a presentation to the agency to determine their financial and technical capabilities prior to the awarding of a service contract.

“No service contract shall be awarded until formal presentation has been made to determine their financial and technical capability and their ability to comply with the imposed program of work,” he said.



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