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Malampaya expansion completed

The Malampaya natural gas field will continue to power a third of homes and businesses in the Philippines, with the completion of a new offshore platform that was designed and built in the country.

Malampaya joint venture partners, Shell Philippines Exploration, B.V., Chevron Malampaya LLC and the Philippine National Oil Co.- Exploration Corp. on Monday inaugurated the new platform, marking the start of gas production.

Phase 3 of the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project involves the fabrication, installation, tie-in and commissioning of the second Malampaya offshore platform.

The platform, in combination with the development of two additional wells, is aimed at sustaining the gas output of the Malampaya facility. The consortium invested $1 billion for the phase 2 and phase 3 expansion.

“We take great pride in the completion of this complex and challenging project. This is the first offshore platform to be designed and constructed in the Philippines. This is another landmark accomplishment for the upstream petroleum industry in the country,” Energy Secretary officer-in-charge Zenaida Monsada said.

The new offshore platform--a depletion compression platform--is adjacent to the existing Malampaya shallow water platform, located some 50 kilometers offshore from Palawan in western Philippines.

Combined with the successful drilling of two new production wells, which were completed in 2013, the new offshore platform will maintain the level of gas production to fulfill commitments under existing gas sales agreements, thus ensuring the steady supply of natural gas to power the Luzon electricity grid.

The inauguration also commemorated  the 25th anniversary of Service Contract 38, which laid the foundation for the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.

The late President Corazon Aquino signed SC 38 on behalf of the government in December 1990.

“This latest phase in Malampaya is a continuation of the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project’s positive legacy to the Philippines by providing the country a safe, reliable, and cleaner energy resource,” SPEX managing director Sebastian Quiniones said.

“The project also promotes inclusive growth by elevating the capability of the Filipinos to world-class standards,” he said.

A team of more than 1,400 Filipino workers took about two years to build the platform at the Keppel Shipyard in Subic, Zambales. Fabrication was completed with an impressive safety record of 11.8 million safe man hours.

The self-installing technology of the platform was a first of its kind for operator Shell and enabled the platform to be installed without the need for large specialized installation vessels.

The platform was built to float and was towed from Subic to the Malampaya location, offshore Palawan. 

The inbuilt jacking system enabled the 80-meter legs to be jacked down and lift the platform from the water into its final position. Both the existing shallow water platform and the new depletion compression platform are designed to withstand the typhoons and earthquakes which the Philippines experiences.

“Malampaya is a symbol of the country’s continuous journey towards energy self-sufficiency. The commissioning and startup of its latest phase is a testament to what the Filipino workforce can achieve to fuel the country’s growth and progress,” Quiniones said.

The Malampaya fuels three natural gas-fired power stations with a total generating capacity of 2,700 megawatts to provide 30 percent of the country’s energy needs.

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