THE Malampaya gas-to-power project could be extended a little longer after the service contract expires 2024 in line with expectations over the depletion of reserves.
Beyond 2024, there is still gas in the ground, Sebastian Quiniones, managing director of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) said.
Service Contract (SC) 38 covers the consortium operation the offshore platform.
Malampaya is a joint venture of SPEX, Chevron Malampaya LLC and state-run Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC).
Quiniones noted that the reserves depletion of the offshore gas field was taken into consideration when a new technology was integrated into the project to maintain a steady supply of natural gas.
“With the new technology, we can extend it [Malampaya] probably a little longer, but again it’s a reservoir, so it will definitely be depleted,” Quiniones told reporters.
Without the new technology, the natural gas from Malampaya would be depleted in less than a decade, he pointed out.
The new offshore platform has started production and will ensure a steady supply to for the Luzon power grid, Quiniones said.
The new Depletion Compression Platform (DCP) is adjacent to the existing Malampaya Shallow Water Platform, some 50 kilometers offshore in Northwestern Palawan.
It is expected to maintain a level of gas production so the consortium may fulfill its commitments under existing gas sales agreements.
Malampaya fuels three power plants in Batangas with a total capacity of 2,700 megawatts (MW) that provides 40 to 45 percent of Luzon’s energy needs.
The self-installing technology used in the new platform is a first of its kind for operator Shell Philippines. The technology enabled the platform to be installed without the need for specialized installation rigs.
The platform was built to float and was towed from Subic to Malampaya. An inbuilt jacking system enabled its 80-meter legs to be jacked down and lift the platform from the water to its final position.
Both the existing Shallow Water Platform and the Depletion Compression Platform are designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes.