Developing a natural gas field in the Philippines

President Benigno S. Aquino III announced on Friday here that a United States company will start developing a natural gas field in the northern part of the Philippines next year.

President Aquino made the announcement during a panel discussion on commodity security for economic growth at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel here in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The President is here in Hawaii for a three-day working visit to join the other 20 APEC leaders for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to discuss relevant issues, including growth and jobs, regulatory reform and competitiveness, and energy efficiency and energy security.

“In terms of energy, we are second to America in exploiting geothermal resources. We have managed to have several other countries sharing the expertise that we do already have,” the President said in a response to a question fielded by a moderator during the panel discussion.

“There is a new field that is going to start next year by an American company in the northern portion of the Philippines. There’s substantial gas deposits that we believe are already on the proven scale that will dwarf the existing Malampaya oil fields,” he added.

The President said that some of the fields are part of the disputed areas and that the Philippines is currently working on steps to determine if these are consistent with the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

President Aquino also expressed hope that all the signatory-countries will adhere to UNCLOS, which provides that a state’s exclusive economic zone extends to 200 miles from its continental shelf.

“We are hoping that all the signatories of the United Nations Convention will adhere to the stipulations of the convention and among them are the 200-mile exclusive economic zone,” he said.

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