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DOE to assess resource potential of Benham Rise

benthic-area-benham-rise-may-2014
Photo from the Benham Rise Program led by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute.

The Department of Energy will assess the resource potential of Benham Rise, a new Philippine territory east of Luzon Island, a ranking official said.

“For now we don’t have data yet but we are excited about this. We need to do initial studies,” Zenaida Monsada, director of the DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau, said.

Monsada said the department is excited about the prospects of Benham Rise because it is not a disputed territory.

In the West Philippine Sea, the Recto Bank, although rich in oil and gas resources, is a disputed area.

Thus, drilling works by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s Forum Energy are on hold.

Last week, Filipino scientists from the University of the Philippines and divers from Xavier University and Ateneo de Manila University completed the first phase of exploration of Benham Rise.

“What the DOE wants is for it to have an indigenous supply,” Monsada said.

She said if there are indications of oil potential, the department might offer the area for exploration under the next round of the so-called Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR 6).

“We will gather seismic data to determine if there is oil. If so, we may include it in PECR 6. It’s really exciting,” Monsada said. via The Philippine Star

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