Philippines and fossil gas

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of fossil gas

Philippines has a population of 112.5 million.[1] The country's GDP growth rate remained 5.7% in 2021 and is forecasted to be 6.5% in 2022 and 6.3% in 2023. [2]

Due to its depleting domestic gas reserves, Philippines is likely to start importing LNG in the near future.[3]

Fossil Gas in the Fuel Mix

In 2021, total gas consumption in the Philippines was 3.3 bcm.[4]

As of 2022, almost all gas production was consumed by the power sector.[5] Total electricity generation was 108.3 TWh in 2021[4], of which, around 19 percent was produced using fossil gas.[6]

The Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation’s (PSPC) oil refinery in Batangas City was the sole industrial user of fossil gas.[7] In 2020, the company decided to shut down the refinery due to the "economic impact of COVID 19".[8]

In the transportation sector, there is currently no demand for gas. Between 2008-2014, a pilot program, that has since been discontinued, used gas to supply CNG to buses operating between Batangas and Manila.[9]

The Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates that the share of fossil gas in the power mix will increase to 40 percent by 2040 in the Reference Scenario (which assumes the continuation of present development trends and strategies). In the Clean Energy Scenario (CES), the share of fossil gas in the electricity generation mix is expected to be 26.6 percent.[10]

The CES scenario will allow the country to fulfill its NDC commitment of a 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. [10]

Fossil Gas Production, Imports, and Transportation

Total gas production in the Philippines was 121,089 mmcsf (approximately 3.4 bcm) in 2021.[5] Gas production is entirely drawn from the Malampaya field, which started production in 2001. The Malampaya field is an offshore development with a 500 km pipeline linking to Batangas. From there, the gas is then routed to three CCGT power plants, the 1200 MW Ilijan plant, 1000 MW Santa Rita plant, and 500 MW San Lorenzo plant. Total production from the Malampaya development is 3-4 bcm per year.[11] Production levels from the Malampaya gas field are expected to decline starting in 2024[6][12]. While the current production license expires in 2024, some production is expected to continue until around 2027.[11]

Philippines has no onshore reserves. However, there are offshore blocks that have yet to be explored in the South China Sea.[13] Most energy companies have refrained from bidding on these blocks due to security risks associated with energy exploration close to or within the South China Sea due to China's recent threats involving foreign exploration vessels.[14]

In October 2020, Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) announced that it was resuming oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea after suspending activities in 2014 due to rising tensions with China.[15] PNOC was awarded Service Contract 57, which covers the Calamian oil and gas prospect, which may have gas reserves of about 2 trillion cubic feet. PNOC is hoping to start production from this discovery by 2027.[16]

In January 2023, the Philippine Supreme Court voided the nation’s deal with China and Vietnam to jointly explore for oil and gas in the South China Sea. The deal, made in 2005, was termed unconstitutional by the court as it allowed "wholly-owned foreign corporations to participate in the exploration” of the country's natural resources.[17]

Given the expected depletion of the Malampaya gas supply, the Philippines Department of Energy is aggressively planning to expand LNG investments to meet the country's energy demand.[18] Six LNG terminal projects are currently under development and are expected to become operational from 2023 to 2025.[10] The first of these, the 3 MTPA Linseed Field Power, is expected to start operations in April 2023.[19]

Government Agencies and other Key Players in Gas Sector

The Philippines Department of Energy is the regulatory body responsible for coordinating government policy and activities in the energy sector.[5]


  1. "World Population Dashboard". United Nations Population Fund. 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. van (2022-08-10). "Philippines: Economy". Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  3. "Philippines to open door to LNG imports next year with 3 terminals". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2022" (PDF). Retrieved February 3, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Natural Gas Production / Consumption". Republic of the Philippines, Department of Energy. Retrieved February 17, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Running Out of Gas in the Philippines: A Boon or Bane?". East West Center. Jun 13, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "Industrial Gas Markets". Republic of the Philippines-Department of Energy. Retrieved February 17, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Pilipinas Shell shuts down refinery in Philippines - Xinhua |". Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  9. "Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT)". Retrieved January 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Natural Gas Development Plan" (PDF). Republic of the Philippines, Department of Energy. 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Emerging Asia LNG Demand". Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  12. "Philippine natural gas future uncertain with Malampaya depletion". Business Inquirer. February 16, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "Running Out of Gas: Philippine Energy Security and the South China Sea". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  14. "Simmering stand-off: China disrupts Malaysia, Vietnam ship exploration". South China Morning Post. 2019-07-17. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  15. "Philippines to restart oil and gas exploration in South China Sea". Financial Times. Retrieved January 12, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. Staff, Reuters (2020-10-20). "Philippines' PNOC aims to start S.China Sea venture with CNOOC by 2021". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-02-03. {{cite news}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  17. Damon Evans (2023-01-12). "Philippine Supreme Court revokes South China Sea oil and gas exploration deal". Energy Voice. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  18. "'Malampaya reserves not enough'". The Manila Times. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  19. "DOE expects Linseed Field Power's LNG terminal to open in April". Manila Standard. January 20, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)