DOE Reconsiders 2 Petroleum Bids

The Department of Energy (DOE) has accepted the bids of two more petroleum firms, following the submission of technical requirements stipulated in their motions for reconsideration.

Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug told reporters that they reconsidered the offers of NorAsian Energy Philippines Inc. for Service Area 7 and Clean Rock for Service Area 2.

It was culled from DOE documents though that the Clean Rock bid for Area 2 has already been rendered "not okay" by the department's bid committee. In fact, it was the offer of Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc. for Area 12, which was initially found to have been lacking in "economic and development concept for possible discovery," but that the company has been allowed to file a motion for reconsideration.

"Those with no substantive deficiencies in their submissions, we have granted the extension request - their motion for reconsideration," Layug said.

He explained that there are two bidders "who did not submit economic concept of recoverable quantities or any economic development concept," stressing that in the view of these parties, it is not necessary at that point, because any data they will provide will just be based on theoretical assessment.

Layug said the arguments raised by the two reconsidered firms are "justifiable", hence, they were just required to submit "theoretical data" as to the extent of reserves accumulation in their targeted blocks.

"Arguably, they are correct that it is not necessary and what they will submit is purely theoretical. But they submitted nonetheless in their motion for recon," the energy official enthused.

The economic and development concept is part of the technical criteria required by the DOE to be provided by the bidders. The energy official acknowledged though, that in some areas, there are not enough data that the parties can latch onto when it comes to providing a realistic assessment as to the scale of the reserves.

"It could be due to the fact that the data is lacking. At this time, there's no data in these areas, very minimal data. And according to them, they could not submit realistic economic development concept if just based on that," Layug stressed.

For the other bids, the DOE official has asserted that final rejection has already been rendered. For instance in Area 1, it was gathered that the department's review and evaluation committee has already thrown all of the three bids submitted for it.

The April auction for the first 12 areas in the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) has not attracted "much interest" compared to expectations, but Layug is holding on to his optimism that Areas 3, 4 and 5 will still generate substantial offers. (MMV)