Joint Oil and Gas Exploration: New Talks Possible Between PH, China

The Philippines and China can now resume its talks about joint oil and gas exploration after its cancellation in June of this year.

New talks are possible between the Philippines and China regarding oil and gas exploration. Should there be an agreement with China or any other country about joint oil and gas exploration, it must comply with Philippine laws.

Will New Talks About Oil and Gas Exploration Resolve Sovereignty Conflicts?

Talks between the Philippines and China regarding oil and gas exploration have been terminated in June of this year. According to former Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin, the cancellation of the discourse was due to constitutional constraints as well as sovereignty concerns.

With Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr as the new Philippine president, talks can now resume with China about oil and gas exploration. He stated in July that he would strive to manage to resolve the issues that the Philippines have with China. He’s hoping to normalise the relationship after decades of maritime disputes.

Current Foreign Minister Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo informed lawmakers that future activities associated with oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea will be fixed on the Philippine constitution. Moreover, it will include the national interest as the fundamental principle.

In 2016, an international arbitration ruling made it clear that the Philippines has sovereign rights to utilise energy reserves within its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. However, China refused to acknowledge that decision and continues to claim 90% of the South China Sea.

PNOC Seeks Approval on Creation of Petroleum Reserve

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Oil Co is petitioning for legislative approval of its plan for establishing a national strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). This will provide the country with a lasting oil supply.

Based on the PNOC’s website, facilities throughout the country will serve as storage fuel. There’s also a possibility that the state-led company will institute overseas facilities. According to the website’s data, the Department of Energy (DoE) authorised PNOC to make a feasibility study. Likewise, the company must come up with a performance plan for SPR’s establishment and operation.

“This endeavour is aligned to PNOC’s mandate and reason for its creation as a government corporation: to ensure an adequate and stable supply of oil and petroleum products for the country’s domestic needs,” PNOC said on its website.

Jesus Cristino P. Posadas added that its banked gas sale and monetization are stable with the government’s actions for supplementary power generation and provide to electricity supply security. Additionally, PNOC and South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC), ventured into a gas sale procurement agreement (GSPA) on June 23, 2022. Posadas is PNOC’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

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