Philippines seeks Middle Eastern partners for energy ventures in Bangsamoro

The Department of Energy (DOE) is wooing Middle Eastern investors to invest in the country’s energy sector, particularly in oil and exploration and renewable energy in the Bangsamoro region.

“Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and with the Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia we would like them particularly to invest in the Bangsamoro region. Of course we are not limiting their investment interests in these areas (but) there is a natural affinity and there is great interest on their part to be able to help out in the Bangsamoro region. So we hope that we can we are looking forward to deepening our cooperation with these countries,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

Lotilla said a Middle Eastern company is already looking at possible investments in natural gas exploration and development in the Sulu Sea .

“They have expressed interest now in what is this in, in doing exploration activities in the Sulu sea area,” he said.

DOE and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have signed the Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB) circular for the awarding of Petroleum Service Contracts (PSCs) and Coal Operating Contracts (COCs).

The IEB circular which operationalizes the provision in Section 10, Article XIII of Republic Act No. 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to jointly grant rights, privileges, and concessions for the exploration, development, and utilization of uranium and fossil fuels such as petroleum, natural gas, and coal within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro.