PNOC-EC’s Malampaya review moving on

State-run Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corp. is on track on its review of Razon-led Prime Infrastructure’s planned purchase of an operating stake in the Malampaya natural gas-to-power project.

“The review by the PNOC-Exploration Corporation on Prime Infra’s acquisition is on track and the notification to the DoE, having been received, is also moving in parallel,” Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

“PNOC-EC is considering the matter of giving its consent to the sale of Shell interest,” he added.

The energy chief’s announcement came a week after he confirmed that gaming tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. ‘s proposed takeover of the control of the Malampaya project will be finalized by the DoE within the year.

“Since we know that the present Malampaya-Camago field is a finite one, the resolution of the legal, technical and financial issues regarding the sale of SPEX interest is important to the energy security of the country,” Lotilla said.

In relation, he said the DoE has created special technical and financial review committees and consultants who will assist the agency in reviewing the proposed sale of Shell’s interest as operator of Service Contract 38 or the Malampaya natural gas to power project.

“The Technical Review Committee will be chaired by Mr. Rufino B. Bomasang. Its members include Mr. Francisco G. Delfin, Jr. and Mr. Froilan A. Tampinco, while Mr. Edgar Benedict C. Cutiongco will serve as a consultant,” he said.

Prominent names in review body

“The Financial Review Committee will be chaired by Mr. Roberto G. Manabat. Its members include Mr. J. Carlitos G. Cruz and Mr. Gabriel R. Singson Jr. Atty. Ephyro Luis B. Amatong will serve as a consultant,” he added.

Meanwhile, for the legal aspect, Atty. Luis Ma. G. Uranza will serve as a consultant.

Bomasang was the former President and CEO of the PNOC-EC. Delfin, on the other hand, served as DoE Undersecretary and Tampinco served as National Power Corp. president and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. vice-president.

Cutiongco, on the other hand, is the current president of the Philippine Petroleum Association of the Upstream Industry and a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences.

Manabat is the founding and former chairman and CEO of KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co., a member firm of KPMG International. Manabat was also the former senior partner of SGV & Co. and served as an independent director of several private companies.

Cruz, likewise, was the former chairperson and managing partner of SGV & Co and is currently a Trustee of the Makati Business Club.

Singson, on the other hand, was a former undersecretary of the Department of Finance.

Amatong served as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and likewise served the DoF as assistant secretary. Uranza, who will serve as a legal consultant, is an expert in corporate law and financial rehabilitation, and criminal, civil, and commercial law. He served as a director of PNOC-EC.

The Malampaya gas field is operated through Service Contract 38 granted to the consortium of SPEX, Chevron Malampaya and PNOC EC.

SPEX sold its 45-percent stake to Malampaya Energy XP Pte Ltd., a company previously owned by Udenna Corporation of Davao businessman Dennis Uy.

The PNOC-EC, which holds the remaining 10 percent stake of the project, did not give its consent to this deal. Later on, MEXP and Prime Exploration Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Prime Infra, signed a share purchase agreement.

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