Solon urges: Greenlight Recto Bank exploration

Cagayan de Oro City Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Wednesday called on the Department of Energy to give its go-signal for the immediate exploration for natural gas and crude oil in Recto Bank to Forum Energy, the service contractor controlled by businessman Manny Pangilinan.

Recto Bank, located off the coast of Palawan and within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone, was believed to have much larger gas and oil reserves than the Malampaya gas project, which is also in Palawan.

The Malampaya supplies much of the natural gas fuel required by power plants in Luzon.

According to Rodriguez, the DoE should lift its order suspending exploration activities in the area so that Forum Energy can proceed to do its obligations under its contract.

“We understand that Forum Energy is raring to explore Recto Bank for gas and oil. We support the contractor’s plan to go into exploration activities,” Rodriguez said.

However, the DoE, as well as the Department of National Defense and other concerned government agencies, would need to support the Forum Energy project.

Rodriguez also stressed that Recto Bank is believed to be the replacement for Malampaya — which is now projected to run out of natural gas in a few years.

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