Malampaya gas field good until 2027, says Shell

By on December 19, 2017
The Malampaya Gas to Power Project in Batangas can still provide natural gas fuel until 2027 to 2029, longer than the earlier projected depletion date, according to Cesar Romero, Shell country manager, citing company data.

However, the company said its immediate priority at the moment is to straighten its tax dispute with the Commission on Audit, Malaya reported Dec. 8.

“Based on what we know, it depends on the drawdown, there could be supply until 2027 to 2029. At that range, so by 2024, it is not finished, zero,” Romero told reporters at an event hosted by the company in Makati Wednesday..

He said  with the government are ongoing to extend the Malampaya consortium’s contract to operate the project beyond the 2024 expiry of its license.

“We’re in discussions with government on how it goes. So far, why it’s so difficult to think about these things is the COA case is still pending. It’s difficult to make concrete plans until you are able to sort out COA,” Romero explained.

COA issued a notice of charge to collect P151 billion from the Malampaya consortium composed of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., Chevron Malampaya LLC and PNOC Exploration Corp. covering the period 2002 to 2016.

According to COA, corporate income tax should not form part of the government’s share in the Malampaya project, thus arriving at the amount.

The Department of Energy (DOE) urged COA before to revise its decision and honor the sanctity of contracts of the Malampaya gas project so as not to send wrong signals to foreign investors and avoid damaging impact to the upstream exploration industry.The final decision on the tax dispute is still pending.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said despite Shell’s estimate on the life of Malampaya, government is still keen on developing its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.

“Even if we have that (Malampaya life extension), we have to (continue and build our LNG hub). That’s part of the security,” said Cusi, adding the DOE has continuing talks with Shell.

The government’s planned LNG storage facility and power plants,to be led by Philippine National Oil Co., will require a funding of around $1 billion to $2.4 billion and will have a capacity of 5 million metric tons per annum.

The Malampaya Gas to Power Project supplies natural gas to five natural gas power plants located in Batangas with a capacity of around 3,200 megawatts (MW): Sta. Rita (1,000 MW), San Lorenzo (500 MW), Ilijan (1,200 MW), Avion (97 MW) and San Gabriel (414 MW).

The Malampaya gas field off Palawan is said to contain 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 85 million barrels of condensate but the consortium operating it has already consumed more than 1.5 cubic trillion of gas.

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