PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte was on hand to turn the valves for the official start-up of production at the Alegria Oilfield in southern Cebu island.

The President was joined by the Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) Alfonso Cusi at the inauguration ceremony which signaled the start of the commercial production of oil and gas in the oilfield, which is currently being operated by China International Mining Petroleum Limited (CIMP), with its partners Skywealth Group Holdings Limited and Phil-Mal Energy International, Inc.

The Alegria Oilfield is being developed under a US$8.563 million investment under Service Contract No. 49.

Secretary Cusi said the Alegria Oilfield was a major breakthrough in the Philippine oil and gas industry that he hoped more investors will join the oil and gas industry in developing other indigenous energy resources in the country.

“More oil exploration activities in the country will boost economic activities and generate jobs for our kababayans (local people),” he said.

The DOE monitored the six exploration wells drilled by CIMP and its partners with the first well spudded in October 2014 and the last completed in March 2018.

The exploration campaign resulted in the discovery of oil and gas resources with potential commercial quantities of 27.93 million barrels of oil and 9.42 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas, respectively. CIMP has programmed to drill three development wells this year.

The Alegria Oilfield covers a total area of 197,000 hectares, with about 42,749 hectares devoted to the production area.