Senator Win Gatchalian reiterated his call for the Department of Energy (DOE) to be transparent in its review of the sale of Shell Philippines Exploration BV’s (SPEX) entire stake in the Malampaya gas field project to Malampaya Energy XP Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Udenna Corporation owned by businessman Dennis Uy.
Just recently, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the department is still in the process of evaluating the transaction and no decision has been reached as the parties concerned still have to comply with the requirements of the government before it gives its stamp of approval on the sale that reports said took place last May.
“This is no ordinary asset. What are the sets of criteria that they will use in evaluating this transaction? It has to be very clear to the public,” the Senate Energy Committee Chairperson stressed.
Last April 15, Gatchalian also sought justification from the DOE on its decision to give the green light on the transfer of Chevron’s 45% interest in the Malampaya project to UC Malampaya Philippines, another subsidiary of Udenna Corporation.
Gatchalian underscored the significance in acquiring Shell’s stake as the company not only holds a 45% share but also the operatorship of Service Contract No. 38, a deepwater license that comprises the Malampaya gas field.
“Whoever steps in to take the place of Shell will supply gas to our homes. Malampaya gas project powers about one in every five homes in Luzon. It’s important that we keep our lights on, that we have a constant supply of gas and in order to do that, we need to have very competent and financially strong operators,” the senator emphasized.
“The government, through the DOE, needs to evaluate the transaction and ensure that it’s legal and that the new operator is financially and technically competent and has the capability of running Malampaya and supplying electricity to our homes,” he added.
In the joint operating agreement signed by the members of the consortium operating Malampaya (Shell, Chevron, and PNOC) there exists a provision that for the sale of shares to be finalized, the party or the transferer has to ensure that it gets all prior permits or approvals from the government.