A lawmaker on Tuesday said the national government is expected to receive PHP20.2 billion in royalties from the Malampaya natural gas field this year. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the amount is PHP5.7 billion, or 22 percent, less than the PHP25.9 billion in gas royalties that the government earned from Malampaya in 2022. 'The government anticipates receiving lower royalties from Malampaya between now and 2026 on account of shrinking gas output from five existing production wells,' Pimentel said. Citing data from the government's Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing for 2024, Pimentel said estimated Malampaya royalties are expected to reach PHP13.5 billion in 2024, PHP8.5 billion in 2025 and another PHP8.5 billion in 2026. 'These are all approximate calculations. The actual royalties could still end up higher. In fact, the government was expecting only PHP24.3 billion in royalties in 2022, but the actual money that came in was PHP25.9 billion, or higher by PHP1.6 billion,' Pimentel said. Despite the anticipated decline in royalties as a result of declining output from current wells, Pimentel said he is confident that the Malampaya consortium "will eventually be able to find and extract additional gas supplies from upcoming new wells." Pimentel noted that Malampaya's existing production wells have been yielding gas for the last 21 years and might be depleted by 2027 based on previous projections. Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla earlier said the Malampaya consortium is on track to start drilling new wells by the end of 2024, with additional gas production seen by 2026. Malampaya currently supplies gas to power plants in Batangas that generate up to 20 percent of the country's energy requirement.
Source: Philippines News Agency