Malampaya gas field

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Malampaya Gas Field
Malampaya gas field is located in Philippines
Malampaya gas field
Location of Malampaya Gas Field
Country Philippines
Region West Philippine Sea / South China Sea
Location Northwest Palawan
Offshore/onshore offshore
Coordinates 11°33′N 118°51′E / 11.550°N 118.850°E / 11.550; 118.850 (Malampaya Gas Field)Coordinates: 11°33′N 118°51′E / 11.550°N 118.850°E / 11.550; 118.850 (Malampaya Gas Field)
Operator Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.
Field history
Discovery 1992
Start of production 2001
Estimated oil in place 5.5 million tonnes
(~ 6.5×10^6 m3 or 41 MMbbl)
Estimated gas in place 105×10^9 m3
3.7×10^12 cu ft

The Malampaya gas field is a natural gas field located on the east edge South China Sea about 40 nautical miles (74 km; 46 mi) off the north-west coast of Palawan Island. It was discovered in 1992 and developed by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. Royal Dutch Shell now operates it on behalf of partners Chevron Corporation and Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation. The field began production in 2001 and produces natural gas and natural gas condensate. The total proven reserves of the Malampaya gas field are around 3.7 trillion cubic feet (105 billion m³), and production is slated to be around 410 million cubic feet/day (11.7×105m³).[1]


The area surrounding the Spratly Islands is said to be rich in yet unexplored oil and gas fields, and hence, remains controversial.[2][3]

The Philippines began exploring the areas west of Palawan for oil in 1970. Exploration in the area began in Reed Bank/Tablemount (Reed Bank is the largest seamount within the Spratly Islands)[4] in 1976, gas was discovered following the drilling of a well.[5] However, China's complaints halted the exploration – refer to Reed Bank#Oil, gas and SC72 for more information.

Today,[when?] Malampaya oil platform is the only operational oil platform in the Philippines. It is extracting natural gas from the Camago-Malampaya oil leg (CMOL) (or simple Malampaya Field), located 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of northern Palawan.[6] It is not claimed by other countries. It contains 3.7 trillion cubic feet (1.0×1011 m3) of natural gas reserves.[7] The Malapaya Project began the Philippines' natural gas industry and enabled the supply of at least 2,700 megawatts of power for a period of at least 20 years starting 2002.[8] The gas is conveyed through a 500 km pipeline from the field to Batangas City where it is fed into the generation system.

In December 2001, an extended well test of the thin oil rim beneath the field initially yielded about 8 million barrels (1,300,000 m3) of oil per day (bpd). It is also believed to be the deepest horizontal subsea well test undertaken in the world at a depth of about 850 m.[6]

The upstream component of the $4.5 billion USD Malampaya gas-to-power project was jointly developed by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), ChevronTexaco and PNOC EC. The project was formally inaugurated on October 16, 2001. Shell Philippines Exploration owns 45% of the project, ChevronTexaco owns 45% and PNOC-EC owns 10%.[7] Malampaya is expected to provide substantial long-term revenue of between $8–10 billion USD to the Philippine government over its life span. Other sites eyed by PNOC-EC west of Palawan are the Calamian, West Calamian, West Balabac, and East Sabina sites.[8]

Another oil field being explored[by whom?] today[when?] is Reed Bank, which exploration was halted in 1980's after China's objections. The concession is currently[when?] awarded to Forum Energy plc, a UK-based oil, gas and coal company. The Reed Bank concession is located in the north-east of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea west of Palawan Island. The licence is located to the southwest of the Shell-operated Malampaya Gas Field.[9] Unlike the area around Malampaya, Reed Bank is claimed by the People's Republic of China, Republic of China, and Vietnam. In March 2011, two Chinese vessels chased off the Veritas Voyager, a survey ship hired by Forum Energy—a UK-based company with a portfolio of projects in the Philippines. Forum Energy intended to return to Reed Bank in 2012 to explore for energy resources. The U.S. military also signalled its return to the area, with war games scheduled in March 2012 with the Philippine navy near Reed Bank.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IBON: Spratly deal a repeat of disastrous Malampaya sale". 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-08. 
  2. ^ Raman, B (1999). Chinese Territorial Assertions: The Case of the Mischief Reef. Chennai, India: Institute For Topical Studies. 
  3. ^ Meyer, Lt Col. Stanley E (1996). Incident at Mischief reef : Implications for The Philippiens, China and The United States. Pennsylvania, USA: US Army war college, Carlisle barracks. 
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2011) South China Sea Topic ed. P. Saundry. Ed.-in-chief C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
  5. ^ "CMOL – Camago-Malampaya Oil Leg Project". Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Malampaya, South China Sea, Philippines". Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "IBON: Spratly deal a repeat of disastrous Malampaya sale". GMANews.TV. March 7, 2003. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "SC 38 – Malampaya Project". Archived from the original on March 19, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Reed Bank". Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Conflict looms in South China Sea oil rush." Reuters. February 28, 2012 (archived from the original on 20112-02-29).

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