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Oil deal with Israel to boost PH’s energy resources dev’t – Palace

The country’s energy resources development is getting a boost as the Philippines inks a new oil exploration deal with Israel’s Ratio Petroleum Ltd.

“We’ve been dependent on oil producing countries for our oil. So we need to boost the exploration and development of our own energy resources,” Presidential spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

Panelo said on Wednesday President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Petroleum Service Contract (PSC) for Area 4 (East Palawan Basin) under the Fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR5).

Ratio Petroleum President and CEO Itay Raphael Tabibzada signed the contract, with Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi as witness.

According to the DOE, the awarded PSC is part of PECR5, which was launched in May 2014. The PECR was established as a transparent and competitive system of awarding service or operating contracts for prospective petroleum or coal areas within the country.

Under the contract, Ratio Petroleum will explore Area 4, a 416,000-hectare area in East Palawan, for potential oil and gas resources with a projected minimum total expenditure of USD34.35 million for studies, data gathering and drilling activities over the initial seven-year contract duration.

Panelo said the deal was part of the investments that Duterte brought home when he visited Israel last month.

“So hopefully, we will have our own oil and it will definitely help our country,” Panelo said.

“The President made a statement that the country needs energy security and sustainability as soon as possible,” he added.

The PSC with the Israel firm is the first under the Duterte administration, according to the DOE.

In a statement, Cusi said the oil exploration deal bodes well for Philippine-Israel economic relations as well as the country’s upstream petroleum industry.

The last service contract awarded was with PXP Energy Corp. in 2013.

Ratio Petroleum, established in 1992, has a number of large-scale operations at the Levant Basin in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Israel, as well as off-shore operations in the Republic of Malta and the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.#