Basic Energy will not give up on geothermal services contracts in the Philippines

Taal Volcano, Batangas, Philippines (source: flickr/ therealbrute, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 16 Aug 2018

Philippines-based Basic Energy Corp. has announced it is not ready to give up its five geothermal service contracts in the country and still plans to develop the projects.

Earlier this summer, Philippines based Basic Energy Corp. announced that it has not given up on its service contracts to explore five areas in the Philippines for their potential capacity for geothermal energy.

“We don’t have any intentions of letting go of it [geothermal service contract] because we believe that that’s still the future,” Basic Energy President and Chief Executive Oscar L. de Venecia, Jr. told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders meeting on Wednesday.

“We will need a lot of baseload requirements and geothermal is one of those sources for baseload. We feel that there is a lot of room for geothermal and we believe [in] the projects that we have,” he said.

Although geothermal exploration is a more expensive project than other energy resources, Mr. De Venecia said it remains viable in the long run.

The company has allocated around P60 million to P70 million (around $1.1 to 1.3 million) as capital expenditure for its Philippine projects.

“When it comes to geothermal, when you say exploration it is resource confirmation. You’re trying to find the source of the steam, you’re looking for the temperatures, you’re looking for the size of the field, how much steam you can make,” Mr. De Venecia said.

Basic Energy has five service contracts awarded by the Department of Energy for the exploration and development of geothermal energy in Mabini, Batangas; Mariveles, Bataan; east Mankayan, Benguet; Iriga, Camarines Sur; and west Bulusan, Sorsogon. The five projects are in different stages of development.

“In Mabini, we’ve done the first well. We’re doing a confirmatory well hopefully by the end of the year if not in the first quarter of next year,” Mr. De Venecia said. “That’s the longest contract we’ve had. That was the first one awarded to us way back 2007.”

In Iriga, Basic Energy continues with geophysical surveys, he said. The project is now led by Desco, Inc. after Basic Energy in December 2016 secured the Energy department’s approval on the farm-in agreement and deed of assignment with the service provider.

Under the deal, Desco will shoulder the expenditure for the geophysical survey and all other activities required to bring the Iriga geothermal service contract to drilling.

“It’s a little more behind,” he said, adding Basic Energy is still gathering data to determine the best area to drill its first exploratory hole.

“West Bulusan is still a little far because we’re still trying to work with the community in getting things started there,” Mr. De Venecia said.

Source: Company press