THE Department of Energy (DoE) has asked PXP Energy Corp. to resubmit its work program for oil exploration activities in the West Philippine Sea, the chairman of the listed company said on Wednesday.

“We have been asked by the DoE to resubmit our work program… I think (the team) has given some preliminary (submission) pero hindi pa kumpleto (but it’s not complete yet),” PXP Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a virtual press briefing for another company that he also chairs.

PXP currently has operating interests in the area through Service Contract (SC) 75 northwest Palawan block and SC 72 in Recto Bank. It received a resume-to-work notice from the DoE last month.

This relates to the recent lifting of the ban on oil and gas exploration in contested seas, which was imposed by former President Benigno S.C. Aquino III in 2014 due to increasing tensions between the Philippines and China.

“We haven’t done anything in the area at all. So we now have to rehash our work program to conform to current conditions,” Mr. Pangilinan said. “We’re preparing that work program both for 72 and for 75. Once we submit that, of course we don’t know whether that will be approved or not.”

PXP posted a net loss of P52.1 million as of September this year due to a double-digit decline in revenues from its petroleum business. Its shares grew 32 centavos or 2.56% to P12.80 each on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez