Energy chief upbeat about drilling in disputed waters

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The Foreign Affairs and Energy departments are closely coordinating for a win-win solution with regard to oil and gas exploration projects in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

Cusi expects a moratorium on oil and gas exploration to be lifted, telling reporters during the weekend that there was a “sense of urgency” regarding energy security.

The Recto Bank concession under Service Contract 72. ILLUSTRATION FROM PXP ENERGY CORP.

All mineral explorations remain on hold despite closer relations between China and the Philippines.

Cusi noted that a major issue is sovereignty, which is not within the Energy department’s scope of expertise.


Cusi recently told Bloomberg that the DoE was working to have PXP Energy Corp. resume drilling at the Sampaguita gas discovery located in the Reed Bank, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China.

The previous administration suspended drilling and exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea in 2015 as the territorial dispute with China worsened.

President Rodrigo Duterte wants closer ties with Bejing and PXP Energy Chairman Manuel Pangilinan has said that the “environment looks pretty positive”.

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