Saudi Arabia

Changes in DOE loom?

Rappler.com
Amid talks that Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is about to transfer to Malacañang, energy officials are expecting a shakeup soon

MANILA, Philippines – Amid talks that Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is about to transfer to Malacañang, energy officials are expecting a shakeup soon.

Energy Undersecretary Jose Layug Jr. told reporters on Monday, June 11, that he and his colleagues expect to get a notice on the changes in the department within the week.

Layug said he has decided to leave his post since his replacement will be issued soon.

“As we all know, we serve at the pleasure of the President. I am a political appointee so we will follow the wishes of the President. If that is the case, I thank him for the opportunity,” Layug told reporters.

He currently oversees the upstream energy industry, which covers oil and gas, coal and renewable energy.

“My number one wish is we find our own oil and gas reserves that are substantial in volume so we can be truly independent and not rely on imported oil. In finding our oil resources, we will be insulated from the oil price volatility,” he said.

Recently, the Philippines confirmed discovery of gas deposits of commercial quantity at the Reed Bank, near the currently operating Malampaya gas project. The rights to explore Reed Bank was assigned to a unit of local firm Philex Mining Corp, led by businessman Manuel Pangilinan. In 2011, vessels from China, which is claiming the area as theirs, hovered in the area, interrupting exploration activities.

Layug was previously a senior legal counsel for Chevron Corp., an international legal consultant of the Asian Development Bank, and power and energy consultant for a law firm. He also practiced at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. – Rappler.com