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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Carpio to gov’t: Explore Reed Bank for oil, gas

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Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Monday urged the Marcos Jr. administration to begin exploring Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

Should the Philippines lose resources at Reed Bank to China, Carpio said this would push power rates in Luzon higher. This will not also bode well for the government, he added.

“Our most pressing problem with China now is how to get the gas in Reed Bank because Malampaya is running out of gas,” the former magistrate told ANC’s “Headstart”.

“The formula is to send our survey ship to Reed Bank accompanied by the Navy and have joint patrols with the US in the same area. That’s really the solution.”

Reed Bank, also known as Recto Bank, is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone northwest of Palawan.

A 2013 report from the United States Energy Information Administration claimed Reed Bank could hold up to 5.4 billion barrels of oil and 55.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In the interview, Carpio also explained how the Philippines’ expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US plays a role in a possible oil exploration in Reed Bank.

“How does EDCA come in here? …The Supreme Court said that it implements the Mutual Defense Treaty because the US would be repositioning their military equipment [and] weapons in warehouses in Philippine bases,” he said.

“This will now be a message to China that we are ready to protect our survey ships, our drilling platforms in Reed Bank by the cooperation
of the US.

“This hullabaloo about EDCA is really about Reed Bank,” he added.

Early this month, the Philippines announced four additional sites for US troops to use under EDCA.

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