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Philippine Bids Deemed a 'Success'

Bidding for oil and gas sites around the Philippine's biggest offshore field...

Bidding for oil and gas sites around the Philippine's biggest offshore field were deemed "successful," with 16 foreign firms expected to have submitted offers.

Phillipine Energy Sec. Vincent Perez, in a statement, said "It is very heartening to see that there remains a keen interest among the oil exploration companies in our country's petroleum exploration."

The Department of Energy (DoE) declined to identify the companies, but said the firms that had indicated interest in the past included ChevronTexaco Corp., BHP Billiton Petroleum and Total.

Mr. Perez said the government might award contracts by May.

The Philippines, struggling to lure investors as it seeks new energy supplies to feed rising domestic demand, offered 46 blocks covering deep to shallow water sites.

The blocks were bid out under the First Philippine Petroleum Contracting Round.