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DOE steps up on learning gas market policies from US, Asian peers

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By MYRNA M. VELASCO

With high anticipation that the Philippines will eventually have a reboot of its gas industry into a market catered to by imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), the Department of Energy (DOE) is also stepping up on its learning process when it comes to policies and regulation frameworks of the changing landscape of global gas markets.

The Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) of the DOE, which will oversee the downstream gas sector, had just recently discussed, learned and exchange views with peers from the US State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, as well as with industry-collaborators in the Asian region – including gas facility-operators and energy regulators from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

As the country is still taking “baby steps” on its LNG infrastructure goals, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi noted that the learning opportunities it has been gaining from colleagues will set “a strong foundation of knowledge on the LNG Industry.”

In the end, the energy chief emphasized that such dialogues and knowledge exchange with co-players in the gas sector will be “central to our goal of transforming our country into a regional LNG hub.”

Cusi has grand ambition of re-positioning the Philippines as LNG hub despite the fact that the starting points of development for the proposed LNG installations in the country have been confronting some bumps and hurdles.

But with the policy learning toolbox it has been clinching from LNG players in other energy markets of the world, Energy Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III indicated that the Philippines “will be able to hurdle the challenges of developing an LNG industry.”

In the recently concluded LNG Regulation forum convened through the Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy (ASIA-EDGE) platform, speakers from various gas markets shared best practices as well as lessons learned in the course of their LNG infrastructure developments.

Various American government agencies, such as the US Maritime Administration, US Coast Guard and the US Department of Commerce, shared their knowledge “on the operations of floating storage and regasification units, offshore and near-shore LNG facilities and permits; dealing with maritime traffic on LNG cargoes as well as the requisite industry standards for LNG ports and maritime activities.

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