Press Release
June 28, 2015


Sen. Chiz Escudero said energy and science experts must convene a small study group to immediately look into medium-term and long-term "do-able" options and solutions to the energy requirements of the country because of concerns involving the Malampaya natural gas fields.

"I am making this urgent suggestion in view of the issues surrounding the lifespan of the Malampaya natural gas fields near the area off Palawan," Escudero said, in the wake of reports quoting Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla as saying that the natural gas supply will only last until 2024 with the rate it was running.

"Natural sources of energy eventually run dry or disappear. We need to have do-able options and solutions on the table already. We need to look for fresh energy sources," he stressed.

Last week, Petilla revealed the natural gas supply in Malampaya could be depleted in nine years if the facility continued to operate 24 hours a day, seven times a week. Supplies could be prolonged, however, if operating hours were reduced, he said.

Petilla said, according to news reports, the Department of Energy may set aside money to fund survey for potential fuel sources and gas deposits in the contested West Philippine Sea. Two projects to explore gas fields, however, were put on hold because of the territorial dispute with China.

The Malampaya natural gas field project off Palawan, which began operation in 2001, helps meet the power generation requirement in Luzon. It was also envisioned to reduce the country's dependence on oil imports and boost government revenues.

"Let this proposed study group of energy and science experts inform us of the genuine energy situation in the country today. We want to hear what they have to tell us. Their expert opinions of what is do-able in the medium-term and long-term will help legislators do what is needed in the legislative arena to help solve the festering energy problems," Escudero said.

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