Israeli energy firm Ratio Petroleum, Ltd. wants to double its area of gas and oil exploration in the country, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
In 2018, Ratio was granted a petroleum contract to explore a 6,480-kilometre block near the eastern coast of Palawan.
The firm is presently coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to determine how exploration will be done amidst the ongoing dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi told a national news agency yesterday (August 12) that the firm is still going to proceed with the exploration but is vying for a larger area to explore.
“Ngayon, they want to double the area, so that is still under discussion as they are proceeding with the project,” Cusi was quoted to have said. “They are raring to come in already and they’re just asking for a bigger contract.”
Aside from negotiations with the DOE, the firm is also coordinating with the DFA on how the exploration will be done amidst the West Philippine Sea conflict.
Ratio Petroleum was supposed to begin explorations this year, but the project was pushed back until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The exploration, valued at $34.35 million, is supposed to run for seven years. In return for exploring Palawan waters, the firm’s contract with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), as a partner in the exploration, states that it will disclose all technical information and resources with the country.