MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy has accepted bids for five oil and gas exploration contracts out of the 16 bids from local and international firms for the 15 oil and gas blocks located between the western coast and the South China Sea.
Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug said $7.5 billion dollars in investments are expected for 15 energy contracts being offered.
He said the accepted bids will be evaluated within 100 workings days and contracts will be awarded within the year. Originally, 38 companies were prequalified. Bidding was opened Friday for 12 contracts. Only nine of 16 bids met requirements for five of the exploration blocks.
Layug said three blocks northwest of Palawan Island up for bidding on July 31 are ''the most prospective'' and more bids are expected for those.
Earlier, the DoE said that its latest Philippine Energy Contracting Round, PECR 4, is the most successful so far as it received 16 bids from local and international firms for the 15 oil and gas blocks on the table.
''We are very happy with the results of the bidding. Today we received 16 bids. This is even more than what we received in previous PECRs which totaled 12 bids. This is the most succesful PECR,'' said Layug.
He noted though that, ''at the end of the day, the measure of success is whether we can find oil and gas.''
Layug said PECR 1 held in 2003 offerd 50 blocks but only one bidder submitted. PECR 2 offered four blocks and got four bids while PECR 3 offered 9 blocks and generated 7 bids.
However, he said that, of the 16 bids received in PECR 4, only 9 were accepted while 7 were rejected due to non-compliance with the requirements set under the PECR.
Four areas did not receive any bid. These areas are Area 6 in Mindoro Cuyo, Area 8 in East Palawan, Area 9 in East Palawan and Area 13 in East Palawan. Layug said these areas will be reviewed and may be bidded out again in the next contracting round.
Area 1 in Cagayan received three bids from Black Swan Resources, Frontier Oil Co. and Planet Gas Ltd. but the three companies failed to fully comply with the requirements of the department.
Area 2 in Central Luzon received a bid from only one bidder, Clean Rock Renewable Energy Resources, but it was also rejected for non-compliance.
Area 7 in Mindoro Cuyo received a bid from NorAsian Energy Philippines Inc., the local unit of Australian firm Otto Energy Ltd., but its bid was also rejected.
Area 10 in East Palawan drew interested from Forum Pacific Inc., whose bid was accepted, while Area 11 in Cotabato received two bids from Forum Pacific and Helios Mining and Energy who were both accepted.
Area 12 also in Cotabato received a bid from three companies of which two were accepted. Dil Moro Energy Corp. and Min Energy Pty. Ltd's bids were accepted while Monte Oro Resources Energy Inc.'s bid was rejected.
Area 14 in East Palawan got a bid from LOYZ Oil Pte. Ltd. and it was accepted.
Area 15 in the Sulu Sea drew the most bids of which the department rejected the bid of NorAsian while three were accepted. These are the bids of Philodrill Corporation and Philex Petroleum Corporation; Mitra Energy Ltd. (with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Co. and Tap Oil) and Forum Pacific. (AP, James A. Loyola)