Why is the Philippines investing it oil? It’s old technology.

Biliran geothermal project [Source: Biliran Blogs]

By JoeAm

Oil is not technology, I suppose, but getting to it involves a lot of technology, especially if the wells are in deep seas. That means a lot of money is spent, too.

The issue came to mind as I read a CNN report about a joint Philippine-Israeli agreement to explore the oceans west of Pawalan. The Department of Energy press release explains that President Duterte wants to become less reliant on oil imports and the price swings that accompany this vulnerability. Well, prices are indeed up, but when the peso weakens to 54 to the dollar, of course imported oil will be more expensive. But that is not the doing of the international markets, is it?

If I understand the report correctly, the Philippines is paying the Israeli firm Ratio Petroleum $34.35 million dollars (1.9 billion pesos at 54 to the dollar) to explore Area 4 in the waters west of Palawan. Work will include studies, data gathering, and drilling over a seven year period.

The effort is a part of a bigger program to gain foreign assistance in the drilling effort. The Philippines’ Malampaya oil and gas field is almost empty so it seems the Philippines is past a state of concern and heading toward panic. Even the idea of reviving the Bataan nuclear power plant comes up, something that to me seems as ridiculous as a bullet train to Palawan.

The Philippines has no substantial exploration and drilling capability of its own, so seeks foreign assistance: 14 foreign firms eyeing PH petroleum search contracts. The cost is pegged at $15 million per well in shallow water and $100 million per well in deep water. The Israeli firm obviously will not generate any production with only $34 million to work with. It is just looking to see what is out there.

And it could all be a wild goose chase. A 2013 study by the US Energy Information Administration concluded there is very little west of Palawan: Contested areas of South China Sea likely have few conventional oil and gas resources

It seems futile to me, considering the expense and dirty carbon footprint of finding oil in a well-pumped planet. And considering the rich energy resources of the Philippines. I mean, the nation has to be one of the richest in the world:

  • Plenty of bright tropical sunlight
  • Thermal heat galore
  • Fast-moving currents between islands
  • Lots of water, some of it crashing down the mountains
  • Strong winds here and there
  • Tons of waste products for burning

I’d argue that the Philippines ought to skip right past the rest of the oil era and move aggressively toward renewables, those energy rich gems that do not unduly stress the planet. They are approaching the cost of oil as reasonably priced power sources. Only two things stand in the way:

(1) The will to do it

(2) The technology

I can use Biliran Island as a case study. Biliran’s mountains pull water from the skies year round. It crashes down the steep hills, heavy and strong. But there are no hydroelectric generators to collect the energy. There are strong ocean water currents in the strait between Biliran and Leyte, but there are no generators in the water.

It has taken five years to get geothermal off the ground. Sooooo slowwww, but it seems to be approaching promise. Biliran will become totally self-sustaining for electricity thanks to the island being a fairly tame but active volcano. There is a lot of very hot heat not too far beneath the surface. A pioneering geothermal energy project is scheduled to begin producing 5 megawatts of power soon. Then 10 shortly thereafter. The entire island only uses about 7 megawatts. At full capacity, the thermal plant should generate 240 megawatts. Here’s a recap: BGI to fast-track Biliran project

The project has struggled through delays, changes in ownership, and technology issues. Biliran energy entrepreneurs had to go to Iceland to find the thermal expertise to drill the testing wells. Government’s demands for fees are rumored to have stalled the project. Eight employees were overcome by gas fumes in 2014. Another rumor has it that the first wells were TOO HOT, melting the probe pipes. The lines to transmit the energy are not yet installed, apparently. There is a small solar generation effort attached to the project.

It all seems a bit slow and slap-dash to this observer. This does not reflect the kind of will I am speaking of, that is crisp, purposeful, well-planned, and devoid of what I will call ancillary money making schemes from the involved parties and governments (commissions). The need for sophisticated technology is obvious.

On the upside, the Biliran project is being run by a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation, a mining company that is diversifying into renewable energy. So the Philippines seems to have some rudimentary technological capabilities. Another Philippine company named Mannvit is doing the architecture and claims expertise in thermal. I hope so.

There are also rumors that the hills that are supposed to be used for generation are being mined for ores. So that is troublesome. A small solar energy field is also being set up near the thermal plant. I hope this is not a bait and switch operation, a cover for mining. I hope that there is some serious geothermal energy potential.

I apologize that my trust level about the way things are managed in the Philippines is so low.

That aside, I’d suggest government invest in these kinds of ventures and develop Filipino expertise rather than hiring foreigners. And rather than trying to find a scarce, dirty, troublesome, carbon-emitting flammable goo. Get good at thermal, and figure out how to extract from very hot sources. The energy is there. So is hydro energy, as I proposed five years ago: Biliran Island Power Proposal

Is there a will to run clean energy with a sense of purpose aimed at making Biliran Island a first class energy exporter of hydro power, solar, thermal, ocean currents? Not bogged down in tricks, commissions, and sloppy work? How about other parts of the Philippines?

I’d like to think so.

The national government ought to be inspiring such projects. And subsidizing them and auditing them. And demanding results. It ought not take five years from inception to energy. It ought to take two.

Solar Philippines’ 63.3 MW Calatagan Solar Farm [From Solar Philippines]

Other examples hint of the promise for the nation developing expertise in renewable energy:

The future is what we make of it. Slow, troubled, and costly . . . and outdated. Or focused, productive, and cost efficient . . . and a great leap forward.

I don’t see the will right now, at least from the National Government. The hints of technological capability developing privately are encouraging.

We dreamers can only dream  . . . and hope the schemers will not scheme and ruin the promise.

“Lose the goo. Go renewable.”


55 Responses to “Why is the Philippines investing it oil? It’s old technology.”
  1. Andres 2018. says:

    I agree on everything.

  2. Tiwi, Albay (my father’s hometown) has had a geothermal plant since 1979, tapping the active Malinao volcano. Albay has 3 volcanos.


    Marcos basically forced a lot of landowners to sell cheap is what I heard – seems my grandfather was one, he died in 1978 so it is just vague hearsay I know. But what I did see during a visit was thuggish plant security. And I was told of farmers whose land was rendered useless by sulfur entering the groundwater.

    So such projects in the Philippines are often two-edged swords to the disadvantage of the powerless. Some also said the plant generated electricity for Manila while the local electricity remained expensive. Wonder how true that is. But yes, the Philippines could be prospering if things were run better. Energy sources and a lot of natural resources but sheer greed is what destroys the place. BTW re the volcano:


    • Plant was decommissioned in 1979 due to decrease in steam supply. I suppose that pertains to the huge amounts of water such plants consume. Which makes my dam idea for Biliran useful . . . for storing water . . . not just for hydro power, but for steam power. I am wary about the Biliran project because of all the rumors about commissions, mining, failed drilling, and the fact that 8 people were poisoned by gases early in the project. The land dedicated to it covers almost the entire mountainous heartland of the island.

      Greed defeats competence every time, I suppose.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I posted this on the Biliran blog by mistake.
    October 26, 2018 at 10:12 am
    For the Laguna Lake more pump storage power plants have been planned.


  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Now I know what TESDA means.

    Transferred Executive from Shabu Detection Anomaly. 🙂

    Totally Excused from Shabu Detection Accountability. 🙂

  5. popoy says:

    I said it here, I have been doing it here for sometime now? WHAAAT? I was reading the comments before I read the article/blog or news. And I have done it again at this early morning hours here. Kindly read the comments not to have the pulse but the heartbeat of the nation. What they say betrays their pros and cons emotion. Not UNUSUAL OR UNCOMMOKN TOO among PEOPLE OF DEMOCRACIES when I read comments of Aussies, Brits and Americans (Canadians seem more tamed) when they praised, kneel in obeisance, DEFEND WITH CANINE LOYALTY or thanks for democracy when mere words form into thoughts to tar, feather and quarter their leaders whose livelihood and extravagance they paid have paid for with taxes from their sweat and health.


    • popoy says:

      When I said I DISCERNED the true heartbeat of the people/nation I suspected ARHYTHMIAS and in those irregular heartbeats I hear lots of whispers like whom the Gods wish to destroy . . . . .blah, blah, blah, the yakking and yakking of sages:


      And in those simple words, in each every phrase and sentence, one surely can write an essay about rulers and their vassals without doing copy and paste from cyberspace.


      • popoy says:

        Last June 18 (4 months ago only) with no thoughts of relevance or currency of events, these musings got submitted but rejected here as an Essay. May be this time, for the sake of one or minuscule few who finds time to read popoy, the piece as wannabe poetry; hoping the piece attempts at more content than form.


        This is not about dictators substantively
        or very directly but about what they do
        or have done to their societies.

        Very crudely it is about the songs and not the singers.
        It’s what both singers and songs DO or FAIL to do,

        If the ideology is totalitarianism or authoritarianism,
        dictatorship is the practice, the dynamic aspect
        of stringent goals and desires of few individuals
        to the detriment of the country’s citizens and
        the pillage of its natural resources.

        Perhaps the world is better off without
        the perpetrators albeit they constitute fewer
        than the mentally challenged in a bell
        statistical distribution of the world population.

        Although dictators and dictatorships are difficult
        to dissect as separate concepts; the focus of peroration
        can be confined to the latter instead of the former.
        The names of dictators fill to the brim, thankfully
        only to a small garbage bin of history. Internet nevertheless,
        list them down without equivocation.

        A series of words and names had been lastingly
        associated with dictatorships. Physical and mental violence,
        injustice, murders, corruption, rapes, adultery, slavery,
        thievery, oppression, incarceration, wars,
        bloodbath, tortures, etc.

        Dictatorships could be subtle and subliminal,
        could be clownish (smiling Martial Law)
        and benevolently malevolent,
        could be long lasting but lack
        the natural quality of permanence,
        despite aberrations in history by examples
        of a few countries like Communist Russia
        and Mainland China, now both embarked
        on mutant capitalism.

        State sponsored, state tolerated injustice,
        murders, corruption, rapes, adultery, slavery,
        thievery, oppression, incarceration, wars,
        bloodbath, tortures, etc. are NOT
        what the RULE of Laws are all about.
        Dictatorships mock, re-invent and defy that RULE
        and foist it on the people.

        RULE with FREEDOM is the anathema of dictatorship.
        Dictatorship is a pestering wound of freedom,
        even regained freedom as in EDSA.

        The humaneness of humanity started among cavemen
        being free to speak his mind, worship his God,
        live without hunger, and without fear of any being,
        men and animals. Modern man in a human way
        makes the quest for freedom its holy grail of equality;
        never fully attained but achieved substantively.

        Man as creature of nature is endowed
        with INCREASING CAPACITY to thrive
        FREELY alongside its flora and fauna counterparts
        in his environment.

        Dictatorships no matter how progressive
        can only CREATE a semblance of a man-made ZOO.
        There might be absence of hunger,
        there’s freedom to howl and scowl
        at each other anytime, and live with
        only the fear of the barking of dogs at night
        and the silenced roar of motorbikes of
        apocalypse riders in tandem.

        Nevertheless, the feeling is like living
        freely inside the biggest CAGE where
        one is secured from hunger and disorder,
        as long and provided the ZOO denizens
        remain docile and compliant.

        Thus it may be conjectured that dictatorships
        ultimately seek to provide every necessity
        in life except freedom and happiness.
        And that sounds like dismal poetry.

        However, most of the above perorations
        are intangibles and abstract and need to be concretized.
        Dictatorships FAILED and still failing bigtime
        against the light of one concrete word: DEVELOPMENT.

        In the annals of authoritarianism, the greatest good
        for the greatest number has never been attained.
        Social justice remains elusive. Poverty and socio-political
        and economic inequalities could be a lot better among
        free world countries than in those despot-ruled.

        Those concerned in the flight of nations
        particularly the men and women
        in the UN’s higher echelons
        consider DEVELOPMENT
        as the encompassing need of the free
        and not so free world.

        It starts with the social aspects, i.e. mainly
        the education and health issues. The ultimate goal
        is t enable the individual to develop himself—
        with the help of the state–into his/her fullest potential.
        There should be no impediments like race
        or lack of opportunity for individuals
        to become professionals and be
        productive members of the society.

        There is then the need for economic development,
        for the ability to create wealth out of available resources arising
        from employment, decent incomes from trade and commerce;
        and the capacity to produce the extra push
        to support production to meet requirements
        of increasing population.

        Political development which means
        MEANINGFUL participation of all,
        Rich or poor, capable or incapable
        in the society to administer their own destiny,
        is the essence of governance characterize
        by human freedom.

        Consequent to the practice of functional politics
        are the concrete evidence derived from formulas
        or axioms of attaining the greatest good
        for the greatest number;
        the least governed is the best governed,
        majority rule works like clockwork;
        that the rule of law and not of
        despotic men (and women) is
        the raison d’etre for democracy.
        Dictatorship is at once the symptom
        and malaise of aberrant political development.

        Dag Hammarsksjold, “Swedish diplomat and economist,
        and second UN Secretary General from April 1953
        until his death in September 1961” had succinctly
        clarified the intricate relationships of the

        He in effect said one dimension is the cause
        and at the same time the result of all the others,
        which suggest that the dimensions have apparent
        and very real equal importance.

        That the development fabric is a seamless web, a WHOLE.
        Put in more specific terms: social development
        can be the cause and at the same time result
        of both political and economic development.

        To connect the abyss between dictatorship and development
        is a stretch and difficult to make as they
        are not equal identities of equation.

        The causes that fuel the engine of dictatorship
        markedly differ from those of development.
        Although lip service to given goals (ends) might
        be of the same intensity

        but the MEANS (planned and executed) vary
        in every which way from what is moral
        and legal to what is rationale and acceptable.

        In academia and the UN, Development
        is “planned change accompanied by growth.”
        It is the INFRASTRUCTURE of Progress.

        Development is the continuing process
        of increasing the capacity of a polity
        to respond to harsh changes
        occurring in the environment.

        In fine, the pursuit of development could be
        wobbly and faltering in some countries.
        In contrast, dictatorship leaves behind a trail
        of cheap coffins and cruelty– and perhaps fittingly,
        tragic ends to dictators.

        Whereas development could be
        a boring Sisyphean “teleserye,”
        dictatorship should be, –must be—
        a short episode of bloody tragedy. ***

        so sorry this is long and I didn’t have to edit many times to improve it. But the concerns for their liberty; polished, sharp, crude, or dull tools doesn’t matter to those who wish and fight for freedom.

  6. Pablo says:

    For reasonably positive exploration licences, the oil companies will PAY the country. When a country pays the company, something is very fishy.
    We all know that Malampaya was to be finite. So, when proposals were made by the operator to connect some smaller gas fields to extend the life, the country demanded excessive royalties. The operator warned the authorities not to wait too long because the deciding factor is the limited lifetime of this very special, unique, pipeline. The country dillidallied and now the opportunity is over and both parties are loosers in typical local style. There now are some idle gas fields without a chance of ever being hooked up, laying a new pipeline is just too expensive.
    The problem is not the alternative energy. Like you said, there are many different sources of energy in abundance. Be it thermal, solar, wind, hydro, tidal, rice husk. Philippines should be very lucky. Therefore, there SHOULD be many investors eager to invest. Why not? This can only mean that the economical conditions are not favourable for investors. And that is pure politics. Oh yes, there are some nice solar and wind projects. But it should be a balanced package of varried types of renewables. Talking about individual plants (“rice husk” or solar) without overall plan and vision is like pi..ing in the wind. You loose. Which is a huge problem because Philippines COULD be a country with the cheapest power. Instead, development of this country is severely hampered by high power prices, the excess costs disappearing somehow. Just ask the new investors in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia WHY they choose not to invest in Philippines and your eyes will shed some tears. Power pricing and reliability was one of those critical decission factors…
    No expensive expats, train local staff???? So wrong.. My best staff abroad were always Filipinos. So, there are great, experienced Filipino staff available. Ask yourself why they are working abroad instead of in Philippines. And consider that IF you would train staff locally, they would disappear abroad before you can blink your eyes. And the reason they are NOT working in Philippines certainly is not only financial. Some highly technical multinational companies in Philippines DO work with only Filipinos. So, those people ARE here and they ARE willing to use their expertise. But, just not in the sectors you described. Maybe time to ask what is wrong there and fix it, otherwise this also is pi..ing in the wind ????

    Power, waste and healthcare are sectors where ” inventive people” can make loads of money disappear. It’s no use trying to fix the symptoms if the root cause is left untouched. And everybody knows it and elected a strongman who was going to fix it. So, don’t worry, things will miraculously improve soon and Philippines will have the cheapest and cleanest power in Asia, resulting in high-tech companies (Like data centres) flocking to our beautiful islands and everybody will be fully employed in meaningfull jobs. Right?????.

    • (1) The news articles and press release did not make clear who was paying whom, so I guessed that no one would pay to explore what the US Energy people say is empty of oil and gas.

      (2) Makes sense.

      (3) Agree totally.

      (4) The problem is a grand absence of managerial competence in the Philippines. I don’t know what latitude private companies have to pay competitive salaries. I assume they can and would factor that into their specs for going forward with a project.

      (5) Nice hallucination, ahahahaha. Actually, it is encouraging that San Miguel is doing the switch to rice husks, and solar is building, and there are wind farms. If there is money to be made, I think they’ll be on it and government will just be watching, having done nothing to inspire anything.

      • re 4) I read somewhere the foreign BPOs have issues getting good Filipino managers.

        What I also think is that

        a) a lot of Filipino managers suck, have an attitude problem in that they want subservience – but are not interested in real performance work-wise or better business.

        b) there is a lot of backbiting within Filipino-only organizations, similar to Ampalaya de Castro vs. CJ Sereno, and Supreme Court Midas against Sereno.

        so good people leave, Pablo is I think right it is not just the money. But I am speculating based on my own observations and what I have heard.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Can I ask for your opinion on plasma gasification, and what WTE would be acceptable ?
      Will it create more problems ?
      Many thanks

    • karlgarcia says:

      Sorry, your number 5 is good enough unless you want to add something

  7. popoy says:

    THERE I GO AGAIN what the readers say as I read the news after. There I go again about my no longer silent pride being a Filipino. Rascals who claim Pinoy ancestry should be DNA tested,


    • NHerrera says:

      Popoy, but sometimes that is Filipino [brain] fried. 🙂

      Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to be a Filipino — warts and all. Yes, let us have Sayoc’s DNA tested. See my note below.

  8. NHerrera says:

    An article I read minutes ago caused me to put two and two together and come out with five. 🙂

    The article says stress causes the brain to shrink.

    Filipinos are not stressed. “Relax lang, pare ko. I got money from yesterday to spend today. Come let us splurge.” But counter the new foreigner-friend, “But how about tomorrow when all that money is spent today?” He has the solution: “Then I go to my Barangay Captain, but if he does not share with me, I go to my Mom.”

    Conclusion:: Filipino brain, small as it is already from poor nutrition in childhood, will not shrink. The well-off Filipinos reason similarly — thus, their brains will not shrink too. QED.

    • sonny says:

      🙂 NH, WW2 Filipino babies can claim malnutrition due to war food shortages. But most of PH population now cannot claim this excuse.

      • popoy says:

        NH and sonny what’s all that inductives got to do with the pipe bomb mailer in the link; can’t seemed to follow the stretch or analogy of specifics which are at best parallel but not congruent .

      • NHerrera says:

        You are right in that probably 70 to 80 percent of the present PH population do not have nutrition deficiencies unless they choose to do so. But, I believe, some 20 percent have nutrition deficiencies but not by choice; some, extreme.

        • Having too much of something is technically also malnutrition.

          “mal” meaning bad here, not lack of necessarily. Too much pork, too much San Miguel, tanduay, too much sweets, too much fried foods. Very different from say Thailand or Vietnam, even Indonesia , where eating and food seemed healthier– balanced.

          Filipinos scoff at eating vegetables… poor man’s food.

          I saw lots of skinny poor kids with pale or yellowish poop , very dark urine over there; but also really fat kids with early signs of diabetes, who never stop eating. The middle was less visible, at least from what i saw, so my point

          malnutrition all around was there, no food, to too much of it. Especially the love for fast food. The badjaos had the healthiest diet, the big and fancy fish they caught they sold to the market, but the smaller fish they kept and with rice and sweet yams, they were set. Sea urchins freshly caught , mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

          that was life.

  9. Sup says:

    Deuterium deposits make Philippines “The Richest Country in the world”

    What is DEUTERIUM? Deuterium is HEAVY WATER or HYDROGEN WATER without oxygen. This is obtained from the deep trenches of the World and the World’s largest DEPOSIT OF DEUTERIUM is IN THE PHILIPPINES – A big deposit of 868 miles long, 52 miles at widest point, and 3 miles at deepest point, replenished by nature 24 hours a day after Deuterium traveled more than 12,000 kilometers from Central America to the Philippines through the span of the Pacific Ocean when Planet Earth turns on its axis from West to East in unending perpetual motion.


    • Rather interesting. I wonder if there is a rebuttal, or why it has not been developed.

      • That is a known hoax especially spread by Marcos loyalists.

        • Sup says:

          Not sure about the hoax but sure i am no iloko Marcos loyalist…. 🙂

          • Of course you are not a Marcos loyalist. But there are reliable sources that prove that deuterium is a hoax. Among them my favorite hoax-buster Bob Couttie.


            • https://www.manilatimes.net/did-businessweek-fall-for-a-30-year-old-hoax/48710/

              The Imeldific plan, it turns out, is to harvest the Philippines’ astonishingly vast reserves of deuterium lying in the lower reaches of the Philippine Trench. According to Imelda, she was first informed of the country’s unknown treasure in 1971 by father of the H-Bomb Edward Teller during a visit he made to Manila, and the savvy businesswoman that she is, she has by her own admission spent “millions of dollars a year” to secure an exclusive right to extract water from the trench. Deuterium is fuel for fusion reactors and has other high-tech uses, at it is found in the Philippine Trench because it is carried there from South America by ocean currents, concentrated by the tremendous pressure of one of the ocean’s deepest places.

              A huge undersea deuterium would indeed be a tremendous economic resource for the Philippines, except that it has the minor problem of being nonexistent. One hopes for Mrs. Marcos’ sake that her claim to spending “millions” to hold on to extraction rights was an idle boast on her part, because if not, she is making someone else eligible for the Scam Artist of the Millennium award.


              First put forward more than 10 years ago by a labour recruiter unable to produce a shred of proof, the scheme is a pseudo-science fraud. There are no “deuterium deposits” in the Philippine Deep – the only deposits the proponents are after are the ones a dupe will make into their bank accounts. Deuterium, a form of hydrogen, does not naturally occur in large quantities anywhere. It is found in extremely minute quantities in water – industrial quantities are extracted using massive electrolysis plants. Deuterium is not a fuel, but a toxic liquid coolant for fission reactors. It is being tested as a power source for fusion reactors, but there is one catch: functional fusion reactors exist only in Star Trek.

              Facts have not stopped the growth of what one scientist here called “deuterium delirium”. A website has been set up to encourage investment in the project. The latest story mentions mumbo-jumbo calculations involving the Earth’s rotational speed to prove the extent and depth of the alleged oceanic deposit.

              Among those beguiled are: Senator Aquilino Pimentel, who has promised to bring the subject up for discussion in a committee; and assorted journalists who have written as if deuterium in the Deep is an article of faith. Apparently no reporter has called up any nuclear physicists to check the science. The unlikeliest dupe is the Communist Party: recently, its spokesman, Luis Jalandoni, castigated the government for not exploiting “alternative energy sources” like the deuterium in the Philippine Deep. Perhaps, as many people have suspected, scientific socialism really has elements of comic fantasy.

      • NHerrera says:

        What I know is that deuterium is useful for fusion reaction intended for possible future use in fusion power plants compared to the current nuclear power plants from fission reaction. [BTW the power from the sun is from fusion reaction.] These other widespread uses of deuterium in some countries are a surprise to me. Why indeed should the PH not do it, if the claim is true?

        I find the following note on that link curious:

        International Press Release

        By: (name of proponent withheld)
        Metro Manila , Philippines

        Why is the name of the proponent withheld? This relates to the comment of Irineo above.

    • While we are into chemicals, here’s a report that identifies where chemicals eating away at the earth’s ozone cover come from: China.


  10. NHerrera says:

    Joe, if you have the time and wish to respond:

    I am curious. I looked at the topographic map of Biliran. The eastern side is where one has mountains and volcanic craters, isn’t it? So the site for the Biliran geothermal plant is on that side? Of course this is not an accurate deduction since the island is only about 20 km in width and the heat form the volcanic area can very well be conducted to the other side.

    Also, curious. I believe you mentioned your family have been spared from the fury of typhoons (and your more recent house was built on a higher ground). You probably are on the western side of the island shielded by the mountain range on the eastern side?

    • I know of only one geothermal site here in CA, NH, and it’s for the town of Mammoth which sprung up due to the L.A. aqueduct construction and upkeep , watch “Chinatown”. The folks from L.A. who worked the aqueduct found some prime skiing and mountaineering up at Mammoth and since then people have been wintering there, eventually necessitating year round energy for comfort,

      Similar set-up I presume.

    • All accurate in the main, with some shading. There are seven volcanic peaks, all one huge multi-venting volcano. The last little burp of an eruption in 1939, I believe, was on the east near Caibiran. The first geothermal well is on the east-facing slope, toward the center of the island off the cross-island highway. Other wells I think would be all over the center region. We are indeed on the west side. Our shelter is more from Samar than our own peaks. We got battered by Yolanda and Ruby to a lesser extent.

      • Here’s a good look at things. The well in the photo is BN3, I think.

      • edgar lores says:

        I used to say that Masbate is the geographical center of the country and proposed that the new capital should be built there.

        Biliran is at the southern tip of Masbate and is a hop and skip to Western Visayas and Mindanao. I didn’t know one could drive to Tacloban. Samar is a hop and skip to southern Luzon.

        From this central position, I imagine Joe Am sits like a spider with his web strung all over the country, the strands serving as conduits of info, collecting and transmitting data that are processed and comes out as intelligence. The strands reach as far as Europe, Australia, Canada, and to the Middle East.

        The intelligence, in turn, is sent back through the strands to social media. To Facebook. To Twitter. And to our very own Society of Honor.

        P.S. When I look at the map of the blog’s reach for the year (2018), only the following countries have not been touched with enlightened discussion:

        o Northern Top — Greenland, Svalbard (Norway)
        o Africa — Western Sahara, Mali, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Benin, Equatorial Guinea
        o Middle East — Iran
        o Eastern Europe — Tajikistan
        o Asia — North Korea

        This tells me that there is Internet censorship in Iran and North Korea. And that Filipinos are in every corner of the world except Tajikistan.

        Oops, I was wrong. There is at least one HSW in Tajikistan. Perhaps she doesn’t have Internet connection.


        • Love the center of the world perspective.

          To drive from Manila to Tacloban one must take a ferry to cross from Luzon to Samar. It’s about a four hour trip if I remember right. Maybe less. Imelda’s bridge gets you from Samar to Leyte. The drive from Tacloban to Naval (pronounced nuh-vall’), Biliran is two to three hours depending on the number of trucks encountered in the mountains (hauling sand and gravel from Ormoc) and road construction delays. It’s a nice drive across the rice plains and through two mountain ranges. You will pass Breakneck Ridge where there is a monument to one of the bloodiest battles of WWII. MacArthur landed at Tacloban and there is a monument there, too.

  11. NHerrera says:

    I agree with you about the PH-Israel agreement on that oil exploration. Better, as a first step, is a study by the Israeli’s on the power mix appropriate for the country, benefiting from the analysis of their engineers, notwithstanding the competence of our own power planning engineers. Such first step is also much less costly.

    Here is a note on power from wind turbines. I believe the tower and the turbine itself can be built to withstand powerful typhoons so as to still be cost effective.


  12. OT: https://www.manilatimes.net/locsin-chinese-fm-to-sign-bilateral-deals/458375/

    Chinese FM Wang Yi is in Davao. The Chinese Consulate General just opened there.

    • chemrock says:

      And Ramon Tulfo is in China as Philippines Special Envoy. He asked for it and he got the job because Duterte “likes him”.

      Tulfo’s self- job description as special envoy special envoy, he would “facilitate applications and issuance of permits to Chinese investors”, in particular obtaining leases for idle agricultural land and fish ponds for contract farming. This would generate “millions” of jobs, he said.

      Questions that need to be asked :
      – is the Philippines ambassador not doing his job so we need another enjoy?
      – Tulfo’s tenor is 6 months. so he is there for some specific purpise. Is it really issuing permits? A task that is too difficult to do?
      – can agricultural land be leased out?
      – will produce from agricultural land be shipped to China, ie not for local consumption? Sort of outsourced farming?

  13. madlanglupa says:

    Okay, so speaking of energy, the geniuses at the Department of Energy are reviving again the idea of getting the BNPP back online.


    There’s some younger generations who in their naivete think it’s a good idea, but they should know the history and consequences of nuclear power, especially as incompetence — personnel being the weakest link in the chain of control — has led to some of the worst radioactive disasters in history.

    • edgar lores says:


    • NHerrera says:

      This is a case where from an academic viewpoint, selecting some economic factors — while minimizing the long-term consequence — one may propose as he does. Makes him look bright too. In any case, by the time a decision is made it will take years; and he can then select some other factors to revise what was said earlier, if he is still around in his post.

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