Cusi prefers to abolish underperforming PNOC

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he wants to abolish state-run Philippine National Oil Co. or consolidate it with subsidiaries, given its inability to move forward with the planned liquefied natural gas project.

“I want to abolish things that are not performing, offices that are not performing. I told Admiral [Reuben Lista] that maybe it would be better to close down PNOC if it is not performing,” Cusi, who is also the ex-official chairman of PNOC, said.

PNOC is the country’s oil and gas company whose subsidiary PNOC Exploration Corp. owns a 10-percent stake in the Malampaya gas project. It also owns PNOC Renewables Corp. which has investments in hydro and solar projects.

“I want to consolidate them as one…But I want to assure that it’s not going to be as simple as that,” he said.

Cusi said he also expected to receive criticisms for this plan which would have an impact on the employees of PNOC.

Cusi, however, said PNOC faced constraints as it needed to get Congressional approval for its projects, including the government’s first LNG terminal project.

“It’s their budget and they do not know how to use it…I told the board that if I were you if I were PNOC and I own PNOC as a businessman, it will just build the terminal. I will decide on that. And then I will look for partner as I go along. This is a project that is important,” he said.

PNOC has been unable to do its projects amid the lack of budget from Congress. Cusi said he might be forced to integrate and merge PNOC EC and PNOC RC.

“I said, we might as well close them because I want PNOC to be like Petronas ... That’s a GOCC [government-owned and controlled corporation], a company that is created by law to help improve the life of people. Now, you have the money, you don’t use it, and I’m now angry. That is supposed to help people,” he said.

PNOC president Reuben Lista earlier said he wanted to bring back the glory of the company by being a world-class oil and gas firm.

PNOC has been tasked to develop the country’s LNG hub in preparation for the depletion of the Malampaya gas field in northwest Palawan. The company, however, has not found a prospective partner.

PNOC is also in negotiations for the sale of its banked gas or unutilized gas from the Malampaya gas field to finance its LNG project.

Topics: Alfonso Cusi , Department of Energy , Philippine National Oil Co. , PNOC Exploration Corp.
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