Natural gas output from January to August pegged at 73,388 MMcf–DOE


THE country’s natural gas output from January to August this year stood at 73,388 million cubic feet (MMcf), data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed.

As of August 25, the country consumed 69,856 MMcf out of the 73,388 MMcf production.

Natural gas production in the country is mainly consumed by the power, industrial and transport sectors.

Of which, 68,629 MMcf was utilized to boost the country’s power generation.

Meanwhile, the industrial sector took up 1,227 MMcf. The transport industry recorded zero consumption.

The latest data brings the total output to 2,322,447 billion cubic feet, while consumption stood at 2,236,121 billion cubic feet.

Of the total output, the power sector consumed 2,195,589 billion cubic feet, while 40,348 MMcf went to the industrial sector. The transport sector used up 184 cubic feet.

The DOE said in July that natural gas production and demand could drop this year by over 4 percent versus last year.

Domestic production for 2020 is seen to decline by 4.49 percent, or 148,502 mmscf, compared to last year’s 155,495 mmscf.

The projected decline is mainly due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas platform for five days in October and the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Further, there will be an expected gas restriction as gas nomination is expected to surge for more demand of electricity.

Also, the operation of the Gas Export Pipeline (GEP) from the platform to the onshore gas processing plant will meet some challenges in view of its capacity limitation and distance.

“These events are perceived to impact in the nomination on the volume of natural gas from the Malampaya gas field by the identified customers and/or users,” the DOE said.

Projected demand this year could reach 142,808 mmscf against the 2019 level of 149,007 mmscf, or a plunge of 4.16 percent.

The expected decline is, likewise, attributed to the impact of the Malampaya shutdown this year, the ECQ and the expected implementation of the maintenance activities of the respective consumer of natural gas.

The same data showed that natural gas for the power sector is projected to reach 140,304 mmscf this year, 4.14 percent lower than last year’s level of 146,365 mmscf.

The DOE attributed the expected decline to the implementation of major maintenance program of the Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo gas plants within the year.

Also, the ECQ has enhanced the impact in the consumption level of natural gas resulting to the low demand of electricity as most industrial and commercial sectors ceased operations.

Meanwhile, the industrial sector’s forecasted demand this year could reach 2.505 mmscf, reflecting a 5.18- percent dip from the previous year’s actual utilization of 2,642 mmscf.

The decrease is the result of the refinery’s economic shutdown in May as an effect of the implementation of the ECQ.

There is no projected consumption in transport industry.

At present, the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power project is producing 3,400 megawatts to fuel the gas plants in the country.

Prior to the Malampaya gas facility, the country had the San Antonio gas field from 1994 to 2008.

However, Malampaya gas field is projected to be depleted by early 2022, or by 2027 at the latest.

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