Oil explorations, spearheaded by the Chinese government in partnership with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), have finally begun in the Spratlys as part of the tripartite agreement inked by the Philippines, China and Vietnam.
In the agreement, China will conduct the seismic survey of the territorial waters, while Vietnam will process the data and the Philippines was tasked to analyze the data gathered from the seismic explorations.
PNOC officials said that the oil explorations have pushed through despite criticisms from some concerned sectors in the country, particularly the environmentalists and political observers who believed that the geological explorations in the area will be favorable to the interests of the Chinese government, rather than the Philippines.
There’s already a lot of oil explorations done within Philippine waters but these have not improved the country’s economy. Take for example the case of the Malampaya wherein Shell has successfully discovered liquefied gas deposits in the offshore area of Palawan. Has the prices of liquefied gas been reasonable over the years. Despite this discovery, the ordinary consumers have been feeling the pinch, with LPG prices going up everytime.
Therefore, what’s the use of these oil explorations when oil prices have remained the same. Hopefully, the Spratly oil exploration, when successful, could spell a difference in the lives of ordinary Filipinos and stabilize oil prices in the local markets. With all the equipment and facilities on the side of the Chinese explorers, I can only hope that the Chinese government will be honest enough to its words based on the agreement. Otherwise, this undertaking will be another inutile project in the making because China has other agenda in mind.