Philippines offers up China-claimed oil prospects

The Philippines will offer three oil and gas exploration contracts in the disputed South China Sea later on Tuesday, including two in areas claimed by China, an official said.

All three blocs off the coast of the western Philippine island of Palawan are part of Philippine territory, energy undersecretary Jose Layug said, dismissing China's territorial claims.

Tensions between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea have been running high due to disputes over the Reed Bank and the Spratly islands to the south of the prospects, and Scarborough Shoal to the north.

But Layug dismissed suggestions the latest quarrel, over the shoal, would dampen interest in the bid.

"Historically, the Philippines has always attracted bids from medium-sized exploration companies. They do seismic surveys, and if they have (good) results, that's when the big boys come in," Layug told AFP.

The two disputed areas for exploration are just beside the Philippines' existing natural gas fields, while the third lies closer to the Palawan coast.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea even up to the coast of its neighbours.

Four foreign firms -- Australia's Nido Petroleum, Spain's Repsol, GDF Suez of France and Italy's Eni -- are among 40 companies that have met official requirements to submit bids.

But Layug said he did not know if any of them would make offers for the contracts, which are expected to be awarded within six months, with each of the projects to involve spending hundreds of millions of dollars over upto seven years.

Philex Petroleum, one of the pre-qualified bidders, is known to have held talks earlier this year with representatives of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp.

While CNOOC is not taking part Tuesday, Layug said it would be welcome to enter into a partnership with any of the winning bidders.

"They are always welcome to take part in any of our service contracts for as long as they recognise Philippine law," he said.

The Philippines and China entered into a tense stand-off over the Scarborough Shoal in April when Chinese patrol vessels blocked the Philippine Navy from arresting Chinese fishermen.

Last year, the Philippines accused China of harassing an oil exploration ship at the potentially oil-rich Reed Bank.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • NCCA plans to conduct mapping of Pag-Asa Island
    NCCA plans to conduct mapping of Pag-Asa Island

    The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) plans to send researchers to conduct a cultural mapping of Pag-Asa Island, which is part of Philippine-held territories in the disputed Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea. Harold Rentoria, NCCA committee on cultural heritage commissioner, admitted that since two years ago they have been thinking of going to Pag-Asa Island for their cultural mapping project. Cultural mapping is part of the NCCA program Taoid – the Ilocano word for …

  • No CNN interview for senators in ‘pork’ scam
    No CNN interview for senators in ‘pork’ scam

    Cable News Network (CNN) Philippines has been denied a chance to interview detained Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, and Jinggoy Estrada, a Sandiganbayan justice said yesterday. Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang told The STAR CNN’s request for an interview with the lawmakers, who are being held without bail at Camp Crame, will not be allowed as such may violate a rule preventing parties to an ongoing trial from discussing the merits of the case. CNN Philippines had …

  • Tropical depression intensifies into storm
    Tropical depression intensifies into storm

    The tropical depression expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday has intensified into a storm, the state weather bureau said yesterday. Noul, which will be locally named Dodong once it enters the Philippines, packed winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph. …

  • PNP to car buyers: Demand LTO plates
    PNP to car buyers: Demand LTO plates

    Those who plan to buy new cars should make sure their car dealers give them their Land Transportation Office plates as soon as possible to avoid being targeted by car thieves, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said yesterday. Senior Superintendent Arnold Gunnacao, director of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (HPG), said car theft syndicates are particularly interested in stealing brand new sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with conduction stickers serving as temporary license plates. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Indonesia and Philippines end losing streak

    JAKARTA, May 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets traded mixed on Monday with stocks in Indonesia and Philippines rebounding after a recent bout of weakness. The Indonesian stock index closed up ... …

  • 2 coast guard men, village chief, abducted in Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Police say gunmen clad in military uniform have abducted two Philippine coast guard personnel and a village chief on a southern island then sped away in two motorboats. …

  • Filipino on US most wanted list killed: rebels, military
    Filipino on US most wanted list killed: rebels, military

    A Filipino on the United States' list of most wanted "terrorists" has been killed in a firefight in the southern Philippines, Muslim rebel leaders and the military said Monday. Abdul Basit Usman was killed in a remote mountainous area while being escorted by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the nation's biggest rebel group, its vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar said. Security forces had been hunting Usman since he escaped from a January police raid that killed Malaysian …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Indonesia ends 7-day losing streak

    JAKARTA, May 4 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian shares mostly traded mixed on Monday, with Indonesia and the Philippines rebounding after a recent bout of weakness. Indonesian stock index rose 1.3 percent after ... …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options