PH to sign oil exploration deal with Israeli firm

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — The Philippines expects to ink an oil exploration agreement with an Israeli oil firm for energy security, Malacañang said Tuesday.

"Inaasahan po natin na mapipirmahan ang isang kasunduan 'no para po sa exploration sa panig po ng Pilipinas at ng isang kumpanya dito sa Israel. Ito po ay with Ratio Petroleum Limited," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters in Jerusalem.

[Translation: We're hoping to sign an agreement, for exploration between Israeli firm Ratio Petroleum Limited and the Philippines.]

The deal will be under the fifth round of the Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR-5) circular. The PECR-5 of the Department of Energy offers 11 areas for oil exploration mostly located in Luzon, and fifteen areas for coal exploration in Mindanao.

Roque says the deal, which is expected to be signed Tuesday, will cover areas east of Palawan.

He also said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has been busy ironing out the deal for two days.

"Well, it's another foreign investor helping us explore for energy 'in an effort to provide energy security," he said.

The country is expecting oil exploration deals with China as well, which is located off the shores of Palawan. Malampaya, with its natural gas deposits expecting to be depleted by 2024, accounts for a fifth of the country's power supply.