Directional drilling at Kanlaon ‘unrealistic’


THE proposal for an oil company to only conduct directional drilling at the buffer zone of the Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) for geothermal exploration is unrealistic.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra’s proposal for the Philippine National Oil Company-Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) for a directional drilling according to PNOC-EDC’s Rei Medrano is impossible.

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“Unlike in oil exploration, directional drilling might melt all the wells to be used during the process of earth steam because it’s so hot…very hot.”

Medrano, the company’s manager for its Corporate Social Responsibility Department, explained that based on the advised of expert geologists here and abroad, directional drilling is not feasible on geothermal exploration.

Navarra, however, was reportedly banking on the earlier presentation of Agnes de Jesus, PNOC-EDC’s senior vice president, who vowed to look into the feasibility of the directional drilling.

But after three months of research and consultation, De Jesus was convinced by the company’s experts that directional drilling won’t work for Mt. Kanlaon.

Under this proposal, PNOC-EDC will be allowed to explore geothermal sources at their present North Negros Geothermal Power Plant (NNGPP) in Mailum, Bago.

At the same time, the oil company will look for rigs as sort of connections within the 169 hectares buffer zone.

This way, there will be no more harm to Kanlaon’s flora and fauna.

But Medrano assured the bishop that only .01 percent of the 169-hectares buffer zone will be utilized for a 30-megawatt (MW) geothermal exploration.

As per the company’s plan, it will explore only about 12.52 hectares of the buffer zone and not 29 hectares as earlier proposed.

Project cost is P300 million.

It aims to produce about 30 MWs geothermal power to augment the present six MWs production capability of the company in Mailum.

It could also arrest the projected power shortage in Negros and Bacolod soon.

“Bishop Navarra, among other environmentalists in Negros, should not worry about our commitment to take care of the MKNP as we start drilling at the buffer zone,” Medrano said.

“We’re serious and transparent in all our undertakings, especially when it comes to environmental programs like what we’re doing at Mt. Apo where we also have the same geothermal project.”

At Mt. Apo, Medrano said that of the 70 hectares protected area they explored, about 500 hectares were devoted to reforestation.

“We also have an ultimate goal that every time we plant trees, we want to make these trees be the mother trees in the forest in the next future.” (SunStarBacolod)

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One Response to “Directional drilling at Kanlaon ‘unrealistic’”

  1. dashwerks Says:

    The negrenses who are against this Geothermal plant are hypocrites, let them set an example and not use electricity in their daily life.

    The geothermal power plant is the best renewable power source available, what other options are there to solve this power shortage. Coal? Nuclear? please.

    I am a negrense, and I am for the geothermal plant, Progress needs power, and geothermal power is the best option we have.

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