Posted by akosistella on March 13, 2010
By Miriam Coronel Ferrer
ABS-CBN News Online Beta
If Malacañang manages to arm twist the Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) board to sign the deed of sale – and it seems they are trying their darnedest to pull this through — the billions of fresh funds from the sale will immediately prop up the sagging coffers of this administration. But the Filipino people and Philippine government will lose forever significant and potentially higher annual revenues from the resource in the next 20 years.
Gas from Malampaya fuels the 2,700 megawatt power plant in Batangas. So far, Malampaya is the biggest oil and gas producing field in the country. It is estimated to contain 3 trillion cubic feet of gas and 100 million barrels of oil. However, there are indications that it has much more in store not only in the Malampaya structure, which started operation only in 2001, but also in the nearby prospects that Shell and the Service Contract 38 joint venture have identified and will be drilling soon.
The government plans to sell Malampaya for about US$300 million or P14 billion. In 2008, the PNOC-EC earned P3.08 billion, most of which came from Malampaya earnings. At this rate, and assuming steady gas prices and volume of sales, it can easily raise the $300 million in six years without having to sell the goose that lays the golden egg.
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