Update on Petroleum Exploration Activities in the Philippines
B.-H. C. Salcedo, Griselda J. G. Bausa, Ismael U. Ocampo,
and Arlene Armonio-Magbanua
The first significant event in Philippine Petroleum exploration dates back to 1896 with the drilling of Toledo-1 in Cebu by Smith & Bell. From the 1950's to the 1970's, widespread exploration activities were carried out but it was only eighty years after the first oil drilling in 1896 that oil was finally discovered in commercial quantity in Northwest Palawan. This could be attributed to the fact that serious exploration for petroleum was made with the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 87, better known as the "Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972", which takes into effect the current Service Contract System. Amendments to P.D. No. 87 is underway to further improve its incentive package and make it more attractive to explorationists.
Petroleum exploration in the Philippines continues to be an energetic industry even if the players are not always rewarded with finds. Frontier areas have become attractive for exploration in view of the continuing research studies resulting to increased database thereat. While Northwest Palawan continues to be the hub of action, frontier areas as well as the more risky deepwater acreages still generate interests, if one wishes to be an active player in growing energy-hungry economy.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California