President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently spearheaded the ceremonial valve opening of an onshore oil field located in the municipality of Alegria, province of Cebu for the oil and gas production that would augment oil production in the country.

In its ceremonial valve opening held in Barangay Montpeller, Algeria, Cebu last May 19, 2018, the China International Mining Petroleum Co. Ltd.-operated oil field was opened and set to start the formal extraction of oil and gas reserves from the site that is believed to be hosting an estimated 27.93 million barrels of oil, about 12 percent of which or 3.35 million barrels may be recovered for production.

For natural gas, about 9.42 billion cubic feet in reserves were found, with a recoverable resource estimated at 6.6 billion cubic feet or about 70 percent of the total natural gas in place.

Duterte was accompanied by Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi; Alegria Mayor Verna Magallon; Mr. Lam Nam, chairman of China International Mining and Petroleum Company Ltd., the service contractor for the oil extraction project; Special Assistant to the President Bong Go; and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar.

Magallon said that the oil extraction will commence right after the valve opening of the Polyard-3 Well.

“May testing na sila noon, so I think after sa inauguration mag-go na gyud ang production, pero gradual ang production dili kalit-kalit ba. Gradual ang quantity nga i-produce,” Magallon said.

She said the government would get a 60 percent share in the project’s revenues, while the service contractor would get 40 percent.

The government’s share will then be divided by the province, municipality, and the barangay.

However, Magallon said they still have to meet next week to discuss the exact revenue sharing between the national and local government units.

This early, though, Magallon said the revenue that may be derived from the undertaking would be a big help to fund the programs and projects of the town. Alegria is a fourth-income class town with a population of roughly 25,000 people.

She said the share of the LGU in the proceeds will be used to improve social services such as free medicines and assistance for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

She also intends to set aside an amount for the livelihood and education programs.
Magallon further expressed optimism that the project would boost the town’s economy with more investors coming in and would open job opportunities for locals.

Asked what the municipal government is doing to ensure the environment will not be damaged in any way, the mayor said she will create a committee with the Department and Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that will oversee and ensure the extraction activities.

Based on the development plan crafted after the initial testing, the natural gas and oil production on the field may last until 2037. (with reports from FREEMAN)

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