Senate panel to probe Shell's Malampaya sale to Udenna

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2021 10:25 AM | Updated as of May 25 2021 10:36 AM

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MANILA - The Senate Committee on Energy will look into the Royal Dutch Shell's sale of its stake in the Malampaya natural gas field off the Philippines to Udenna Corporation, its chairman said Tuesday.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, in a previous hearing, said the Dennis Uy-led firm had no known technical expertise to operate the multibillion dollar deep water gas-to-power project.

"We will definitely call on the DOE. In the first hearing we conducted, their statement was that they were still in the process of evaluation. It has to be very clear to the public what are the criteria and if the new company is competent based on that list," he told ANC's Headstart Tuesday.

"Government needs to assure the public that the next operator is competent and financially strong...Government through the DOE needs to evaluate if the transaction is legally, financially, and technically complaint."

Shell earlier said a subsidiary of the oil and shipping firm Udenna Corp. will pay $380 million for its 45 percent operating interest in the gas field, plus up to $80 million between 2022 and 2024 "contingent on asset performance and commodity prices."

The transaction brings Udenna's total shares in Malampaya to 90 percent, having earlier bought out the 45 percent stake of US oil giant Chevron in 2019.