PHOENIX Petroleum Philippines, Inc. expects to be part of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project being proposed by China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), possibly in partnership with state-led Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).
“We’re talking [with PNOC],” Phoenix Petroleum President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis A. Uy told reporters on Monday after the annual stockholders’ meeting of another company that he chairs.
Asked whether Phoenix Petroleum has submitted a proposal to PNOC, he said: “CNOOC did, yes. Kasama na kami doon. Wala pang feasibility. (We’re included there. There’s no feasibility study yet). It’s an intent.”
Mr. Uy’s comments come after Phoenix Petroleum on June 5 signed a memorandum of understanding with a unit of CNOOC to develop a receiving terminal for imported LNG in the country.
The subsidiary — CNOOC Gas and Power Group Co. Ltd. — is owned by CNOOC Ltd., which Phoenix Petroleum previously described as the largest offshore oil and gas company in China and is one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world.
“They approached us,” Mr. Uy said.
In April, the Department of Energy (DoE) identified CNOOC as one of seven local and foreign companies with which it had held pre-application conferences for their separate LNG project proposals.
Included on the list is PNOC, which earlier disclosed plans to take on a partner for such project. PNOC said it has a property in Batangas to put up the facility.
Asked whether his company is open to partner with PNOC, Mr. Uy said: “Yes, of course.”
For now, Phoenix Petroleum and the CNOOC unit are conducting a feasibility study on the viability of an LNG import terminal with a power plant component, he said.
“We’ve just signed an agreement that we will pursue opportunities. We are doing some feasibility,” Mr. Uy said. “The feasibility should be finished within the year.”
The Phoenix Petroleum official said the structure of a joint venture with the CNOOC unit is still “loose” at present and would depend on the foreign ownership limit for the project. Aside from the technical aspect, the feasibility study will determine the financial component, which depends on the equity in the project, he added.
The LNG project, should it materialize, will broaden Phoenix Petroleum’s portfolio of new business, which now includes liquefied petroleum gas, convenience store retailing, asphalt, and electronic commerce transactions.
On Monday, shares in Phoenix Petroleum closed 1.65% up to P12.30 each. — Victor V. Saulon