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PIA Press Release

Ermita bares fresh oil extract from Galoc oil field off Palawan

Manila (10 October) -- Amid the gloom cast over the Philippine economic scene by the meltdown of the US financial market comes a ray of sunshine in the form of a fresh extraction of oil from the Galoc oilfield off Palawan at 10:45 a.m., Thursday.

The fresh extracts confirm daily production projections of 17,000-20,000 barrels of oil in the first 90 days of operation, or about 6 percent of the country's demand of 300,000 barrels a day, Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita said in a statement.

He said that at 11:20 a.m. Thursday, the fresh oil extracts from Galoc were onboard a Philippine vessel en route to "our local refineries."

"The President (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) is optimistic that this new development will positively impact on the administration's efforts to reduce the country's annual oil importation of US $6 billion and, in turn, will also contain the increasing cost of food and other commodities," Ermita said.

In his report to Ermita, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said that "initial exploration results show that the Galoc field has reserves containing 10 to 20 million barrels, subject to further studies and exploration that can possibly result in additional yields."

Ermita said the new oil extraction "will also translate, as initially targeted, to US $1.4 billion in foreign exchange savings for the country for the well's lifetime - at least for the present development - which should be for three to five years."

"The fresh output has been described as light medium crude oil, with a potential high yield of light ends, such as gasoline. The Galoc oil will be known as Palawan Light," he said.

This is the second time in two days that Malacanang reported positive developments in the country's economic front. On Wednesday (Oct. 8), the President announced that the country's "rising inflation is finally leveling off.

In her speech before leaders of the Women's Balikatan Movement (Metro Manila Council) during the celebration of the movement's 20th foundation anniversary in Malacanang, the President said:

"We have been working hard on all fronts to manage inflationary pressures. Kaya gaya ng sabi ko kanina, salamat na lamang, kahapon, maganda ang ating balita -- nagle-level off na ang inflation."

"Inflation this past month (Sept.) was lower than the month before (August)," she added.

At 11.9 percent, the September inflation was about 0.6 percent lower than the previous month's rate of 12.5 percent.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had earlier forecast September's inflation rate to range from 11.8 to 12.7 percent. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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