An oil field discovered in central Philippines in 2014 has been found to have commercial quantities of both natural gas and oil, the energy department said on Wednesday, that could boost domestic gas supply when existing reserves dry up in six years.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based China International Mining Petroleum Co Ltd, the service contractor that will develop the Alegria oil field in southern Cebu.
Alegria was found to have an estimated 27.93 million barrels of oil (MMBO), with a possible production recovery of 3.35 MMBO, or 12 percent of total oil in place, the Department of Energy said in a statement.
Alegria also has natural gas reserves of about 9.42 billion cubic feet (bcf), with the recoverable resource estimated at 6.6 bcf, or about 70 percent of total natural gas in place, it said.
Exploration and drilling activities on the oil field started in 2009.
The Philippines plans to rely on imported liquefied natural gas when its Malampaya gas field – in western Philippine waters – becomes depleted in 2024. Malampaya fuels around a fifth of the country’s power.
Though not as big as Malampaya which had about 2.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Alegria’s gas will help boost supply in one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies where energy demand is expected to triple by 2040.
Based on the development plan crafted after the initial testing, the natural gas and oil production of Alegria field may last until 2037, the energy department said.