SHARES in PXP Energy Corp. and Atok-Big Wedge Co., Inc. on Monday sustained their surge days after the government lifted a ban on oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

Atok-Big Wedge stocks jumped 12.82% or P1.48 to close at P13.02 each, while PXP Energy shares soared 50% or P3.86 to end the day at P11.58 apiece. Both attributed their rising share price to the recent lifting of the moratorium on exploration activities.

But a trader stayed cautious as investors were lured to the listed companies with interest in service contracts within the contested offshore areas.

In a mobile phone message, Timson Securities, Inc. Head of Online Trading and Trader Darren Blaine T. Pangan said he was cautious about the sudden surge of mining and oil stock prices.

“It would depend on the developments that would unfold in the coming days, regarding the exploration prospects in the West Philippine Sea,” Mr. Pangan said.

In its disclosure, Manuel V. Pangilinan-led PXP Energy said it had just received its “resume-to-work” notice from the Department of Energy (DoE) involving its operating interest in Service Contract (SC) 72, while its subsidiary, Forum Energy Ltd., was also issued the same notice for its operating interest in SC 75.

Further, the firm confirmed ongoing talks between Forum Energy’s subsidiary Forum (GSEC 101) Ltd., and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) regarding the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the governments of Philippines and China on joint oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.

The two parties have yet to finalize any disclosable agreement, PXP Energy said.

“To date, there is no disclosable information in respect to such ongoing negotiations, including the existence of such ongoing negotiations itself,” PXP Energy said in the disclosure.

Meanwhile, mining company Atok Big-Wedge said it owns 20% of Forum Energy, which has a 70% stake in SC 72, an 8,800 square kilometer offshore license situated west of Palawan Island in the West Philippine Sea.

On the other hand, SC 75 is located northwest of Palawan, while SC 59 is in the southwest of the province.

Late Thursday, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi announced that service contractors had been allowed to resume energy-related activities within areas covered by SC numbers 59, 72 and 75, which were suspended in 2014 due to territorial disagreements. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave