PNOC-EC opens for bidding P25.41-M contract for drill test of Zamboanga Sibugay coal mine

THE Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) is soliciting bids for a P25.41-million contract for the conduct of a drill test in a coal mine in Zamboanga Sibugay.

PNOC-EC President Pedro Aquino Jr. said the procurement is only for the services of the contractor that will conduct the drill test.

“The drilling involves core drilling to determine the coal reserves,” he said, when sought for comment.

A bid invite states that PNOC-EC has set aside P25.412 million for the project, which should be carried out in 180 days.

A prebid conference is scheduled this Friday, with the submission and opening of bids slated on August 5.

Under Coal Operating Contract (COC) 185, PNOC-EC intends to conduct exploration activities—including geologic mapping, block boundary survey and drilling of about 22 drill holes—to determine the extent, volume, behavior and quality of coal seams for possible coal-mining operations.

This is in line with the Department of Energy’s directive to explore and develop the country’s indigenous-energy resources.

COC 185 is located on the northeastern end of the Malangas Coal District, Sibugay Peninsula, where underground coal mines are extensively worked.

COC 185 covers an area of about 2,000 hectares and spans across numerous barangays: Barangay del Pilar of the municipality of Malangas; and barangays Danlugan, Mabuhay, Maganay, del Monte  and Bagong Borbon of the municipality of Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Aquino also said his office is still analyzing the results of the drilling activities conducted in Isabela.

“This will take at least six months to determine the volume of reserve gas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aquino said PNOC-EC has signed an agreement with British Petroleum (BP) for the establishment of depot facilities in the country.

“We signed an MOA [memorandum of agreement] with them. The discussions with BP are still ongoing. There are a lot of things we need to settle,” Aquino said.

He earlier said that the tie-up with BP is one of the measures identified to help the company improve its revenues.

“Management is trying its best to alleviate the effects of crude-oil price in our declining revenue by looking at other sources that could bring substantial income to the company,” Aquino said.