ZAMBOANGA CITY: An international company engaged in the energy business worldwide has shown interest to explore natural gas and oil discoveries in the high seas of the island municipality of Lugus, Sulu, a top town official announced recently.
The project has an estimated “cost of investment worth $2.3 billion.”
Lugus Mayor Hadir Hajiri noted that the British firm Energy World International (EWI), headed by Graham Elliot, seemed to have been encouraged by a statement from Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who had expressed his “all-out support to the project.”
“[O]ur country, specifically Mindanao, needs more power in the future. This is a significant undertaking that will solve our oil problem,” Piñol reportedly said.
A memorandum of understanding between EWI and the Lugus municipality was later signed, with MinDA Secretary and Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana witnessing the activity.
An official statement released here last Tuesday said the British company would partner with a local firm, Hadar and Medzar Oil and Gas Corp., for “a world-class oil and natural gas production and export facilities, which will supply clean and economical natural gas throughout the country’s islands for power generation, industrial, residential and commercial use.”
According to an earlier study by EWI, Lugus ”has a huge reserve of gas and had detected oil in some of the existing wells in the Sulu Sea.”
The company said the project is expected “to generate a minimum of 2,000 jobs,” even as the island municipal government “has already laid down the foundation for the project with a 30-hectare area at Barangay Kawayan for the needed infrastructure.”
Elliot said the EMI had established gas fields and power plants in Australia, Indonesia and coastal Pagbilao town in Quezon province.