OIL AND GAS: The fifth largest company in the World - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has placed the Philippines in its investment map as it sees growth opportunities in the country.
The Royal Dutch Shell Plc commonly known as Shell is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world (and the second-largest energy company) according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six oil and gas "Super Majors". It is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It also has major renewable energy activities, including in biofuels, hydrogen, solar and wind power.
Shell has operations in over 90 countries including the Philippines and produces around 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 44,000 service stations worldwide
On a press conference in the Philippines, Shell V-President for communication Roberto S. Kanapi told reporters that there were opportunities for investment and expansion in the Philippines, unlike in the past when the Philippines were placed on its low priority.
“Increasing demands, opening of several areas for oil and gas exploration and strengthen competition makes the industry exciting as the Philippines untapped resources opens its gate for early birds. Shell did not show any details yet but putting the Philippines for their high priority of investments might say there are lots of things to happen soon... There are plans for Shell in the Philippines as saw that the Philippines is an attractive market and a growing market at that. And I think the change in governance also helped a lot,” Kanapi explained.
“As for the cases we are facing, we will go to courts with that and that is part of doing business in the Philippines, but we are prepared for that. We are looking more into the opportunities than the threats,” he added.
The Shell Companies in the Philippines is now in the process of completing a study that will determine the next steps for its refinery in Tabangao, Batangas—as to whether it will be expanded or upgraded to cater to the increasing local demand.
Kanapi said that they expected to complete the study next year in 2012. The decision to list Shell on the local bourse would also largely hinge on the results of the study, he added.
Royal Dutch Shell, through its upstream unit Shell Philippines Exploration BV, is likewise showing interest to invest another $1 billion to increase the production and extend the life of the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project off Palawan.
SPEX, along with other consortium members Chevron and PNOC Exploration Corporation, plans to invest about $250 million for the second phase of the Malampaya project, which will entail the drilling and development of two additional wells. This is expected to be completed by February 2014. Another $750 million will be invested for the third phase, which will involve the installation of a new platform where additional equipment and facilities will be housed by December 2015.
“The projects, entailing new investments, are seen to further benefit the Philippines in energy self-sufficiency and government revenues and will continue to be a major source of power for Luzon’s energy requirements in the years to come,” SPEX said.
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Plc has also expressed interest in participating in the liquefied natural gas program of the government.
Edgar Chua, country chairman for Shell Companies in the Philippines, had said that the company was interested in becoming a supplier of LNG as well as in putting up the necessary infrastructure, including the “regasification” facility and pipelines which required huge investments.
Mr. Chua did not indicate if Shell would be interested in bidding for the proposed 100 kilometer Batangas-Manila natural gas pipeline that will require as much as $1.3 Billion Dollars in investment of which $500 million will go to the construction of the pipeline while another $700 million to $800 million will be needed for the “regasification” facility and the receiving LNG terminal.
Chua only noted that Shell would likely look for other potential local partners for its planned foray into the Philippine LNG industry.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc announced earlier that it would pursue its Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Project in the Philippines.