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March 22, 2016

Malampaya platforms as high security prison? why not, says Ty

LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty has urged government to plan ahead and identify possible practical uses for the two massive oil rigs in the West Philippine Sea that will eventually be left in place once the supply runs out.

“The Malampaya gas wells are bound to dry up, be plugged and abandoned, along with the platforms,” he said.

However, Ty, a senior member of the House Committee on Energy, said that the Malampaya offshore natural gas field in northwest Palawan will remain highly productive for more than a few years.

Located 80 kilometers off northwest Palawan, Malampaya has proven reserves of about 3.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is expected to last until 2024, depending on how aggressively the fuel is harvested.

“Once vacated, the rigs could be converted by the Philippine Navy into an outpost, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources could also use the rigs for a marine research hub. Even the Bureau of Corrections can opt to transform the platforms into a high security prison,” Ty said.

The Malampaya rigs are two large adjacent structures with facilities to extract natural gas and oil from undersea reservoirs. The platforms are built to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. One of the rigs can house 60 workers and has a helipad.

Currently, the Philippine Marine Corps is using what is left of the World War II vintage BRP Sierra Madre as a makeshift garrison 150 kilometers off northwest Palawan. The ship is grounded atop an atoll in the Spratly Islands.

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