Marcos urged to drill for oil and gas in West Philippine Sea

·2 min read
This April 21, 2017 photo taken from a C-130 transport plane with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano shows Thitu Island off the South China Sea. A lawmaker is urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to explore the West Philippine Sea for energy even if China protests such moves. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
This April 21, 2017 photo taken from a C-130 transport plane with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano shows Thitu Island off the South China Sea. A lawmaker is urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to explore the West Philippine Sea for energy even if China protests such moves. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to go against all odds and explore the West Philippine Sea for oil and gas in Recto Bank.

“Let’s do it, let’s look for gas and oil in the West Philippine Sea, especially in Recto Bank off Palawan, which reportedly holds natural gas deposits that are bigger than those in Malampaya,” he said on Monday (September 19).

Rodriguez mentioned that Recto Bank, just off Palawan province, “reportedly holds natural gas deposits that are bigger than those in Malampaya.” A 2013 report from Rappler citing a report from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) disclosed that the area may have up to 5.4 million barrels of oil and 55.1 TCF of natural gas.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the Malampaya Gas Field has proven deposits of 2.7 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in natural gas reserves. It also has 85 million barrels of condensate. As of 2017, the Philippines consumes 110,960 million cubic feet (MCF) annually.

“They [China] will always protest even if the exploration areas are not part of their territory. They are the interloper there,” Rodriguez said. “Recto Bank could potentially replace Malampaya, which supplies a large part of the fuel requirements of power plants energizing Metro Manila and Luzon.”

He added, “So let’s do it on our own. They should not dictate what we should do in our own territory. They should not force us to violate our own Constitution.”

The Philippines is a net importer of oil, and most of its oil supply is from abroad. Several analysts are associating the rise in oil prices to the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

Watch more videos on Yahoo: