President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has officially given the go signal for the Department of Energy s immediate exploration, development and production of crude oil from the Camago-Malampaya reservoir in the central province of Palawan

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has officially given the go signal for the Department of Energy’s immediate exploration, development and production of crude oil from the Camago-Malampaya reservoir in the central province of Palawan, the government said Monday.

The government said in a statement that President Arroyo issued an executive order to allow the Department Of Energy (DOE) to start the job with the help of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and third parties, subject to existing rights over the area and applicable law, rules and regulations.

The order reads that oil exploration and production activities need to be to urgently conducted in the Camago-Malampaya reservoir at this time.

‘The increasing prices of oil and petroleum products in the world market has made it urgent and imperative for the government to aggressively pursue its energy independence agenda, including the development of domestic oil reserves,’ it says.

In December 1990, the government, through the Department of Energy, entered into a service contract with a consortium – now composed of Shell Exploration B.V., Shell Philippines LLC, Chevron Malampaya LLC and PNOC-Exploration Corporation, as contractor for the exploration, development and production of petroleum resources in an identified area offshore northwest of the province of Palawan.

The DOE and the contractor jointly declared in April 1998 that the petroleum found in the areas designated as the Camago- Malampaya and San Martin reservoirs were in commercial quantity.

But while the Camago-Malampaya reservoir is known to contain both natural gas and oil resources, the contractor expressed its position that it could not undertake the development of the Camago- Malampaya oil leg since, based on its own evaluation, it was not commercially viable.

In her order, the President asked the DOE to pursue the exploration, development and production of crude or black oil from the Camago-Malampaya reservoir, respecting the existing rights of the contractor over the area and with paramount consideration of the national interest.

Source : english.people.com.cn