The Department of Energy (DOE) is delaying its May 21 deadline for oil and gas companies that are interested to apply for petroleum exploration in predetermined areas (PDAs) under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) which include three sites in Palawan.

In a statement received by Palawan News recently, the agency said the new deadline is August 19.

“This is to notify you in advance of the extension being given by the DOE for the submission of PDA applications under the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program (PCECP) for petroleum exploration. The application deadline for PDAs has been moved from May 21 to August 19, 2019,” the DOE statement said.

The 180-day compliance started with the launching of the PCECP on November 22, 2018.

A total of 13 applicants expressed their interest for the PDAs.

In September 2018, the DOE announced three areas in eastern Palawan as potential sites for oil exploration to meet the country’s petroleum supply demand.

The PDAs on the eastern side of the province are Area 2 with the size of 448,000 hectares, Area 3 with 440,000 hectares, and Area 4 with 288,000 hectares.

The statement did not, however, specify the locations in Palawan.

The statement also offered 11 other PDAs — three in the Sulu Sea, three onshore in Mindanao, three in Western Luzon, and one in Cagayan.

According to the DOE, the PCECP is a petroleum service contract awarding mechanism that gives the government the control to develop indigenous petroleum resources under service contracts with reputable local and foreign exploration companies.

The agency believes that the PCECP is important for the country as it searches for a new source of energy like Malampaya considering its projected natural gas production depletion is until 2022.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.