SC 72 and SC 55 are the two most promising gas fields in the country. The operator of SC 72 is a company controlled by PXP while the operator of SC 55 is a company controlled by ACEX and ACEN. PXP is a unit of the Hong Kong based conglomerate First Pacific Ltd. helmed by Manny V. Pangilinan. ACEX and ACEN are part of the Ayala group.
Monte de Oro Resources & Energy, a subsidiary of Apex Mining (APX), has a 30% stake in SC 72. APX is controlled by the port tycoon Enrique Razon. Enrique Razon is reportedly buying 90% of the Malampaya project from gas station tycoon Dennis Uy.
While Pryce Gas owns a 25% stake in SC 55. Pryce Gas is a subsidiary of Pryce Corporation (PPC).
On April 6, 2022, PXP received a directive from the DOE to put on hold any exploration activities for SC 72 and 75 until such time that the Security Coordinating Cluster has issued the necessary clearance to proceed.
As a result, PXP was forced to terminate agreements with suppliers and has stopped exploration activities. PXP were supposed to drill two wells in the Sampaguita fields.
The DOE advisory appears to be an indefinite suspension of the exploration activities in SC 72 and SC 75.
Meanwhile ACEX disclosed that the DOE has approved its CINCO-1 Drilling Proposal. It said that it had completed the specialized pre-drill geological and geophysical studies and that well planning, and drilling preparations are ongoing.
SC 55 is located quite far from the hotspots in the West Philippine Sea.
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