THE life of the Malampaya gas field, which is operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., in northwest Palawan is expected to last a few years longer than its projected depletion date of 2024, according to the Department of Energy.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said that based on the results of a study commissioned by the Malampaya consortium, the gas field will likely last until 2030.
“There’s a study that it (Malampaya gas field) will last an extra five years if we run it as baseload. It can last after 2030 if we use it as mid-merit,” Petilla said, explaining that “the life of the Malampaya gas field depends largely on the usage of the power plants.”
The Malampaya gas field under service contract 38 fuels three power plants in Batangas with a total capacity of 2,700 megawatts (MW).
The three Batangas plants are currently running as baseload (or 24 hours a day, seven days a week) except during forced outages and maintenance shutdown.
Mid-merit plants supply the gap between baseload and peaking plants, which run during peak hours.
To draw more gas from the Malampaya gas field, the Malampaya consortium is currently embarking on a $1 billion project to serve its supply commitment to the three power plants.
Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. leads the consortium as operator and owns a 45-percent stake, while Chevron Malampaya LLC also owns 45 percent and PNOC Exploration Corp. holds the remaining 10 percent.
The Malampaya gas field has proven reserves of 2.7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) to 3.2 TCF, of which more than 1 TCF has already been consumed.
The phase two of the Malampaya project entails the drilling and development of two additional wells at a cost of $250 million.
The phase 3, meanwhile, involves the installation of a new platform where additional equipment and facilities will be housed by 2015 at a cost of $750 million.
The government has been preparing for the end of life of the Malampaya facility. As part of its preparations, it is planning to import liquefied natural gas to bring additional capacity to fuel around 40 to 50 percent of Luzon’s power requirements.