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Messages - adroth

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Military Vehicles / Re: MX-7 "Gagamba / Spider"
« on: Today at 10:05:02 AM »
The only people referring to this as "Gagamba" were the folks at PDFF. It was never known as that.

Because of lack of succession planning learnings lost through the passage of time, doctrines lost, innovation reset, and we are back to square one.

This was the rationale behind the "PH DARPA" proposal. Initiatives along these lines were already underway . . . only time will tell if this will continue.

Sir A, what are these innovations that were done? Is there a thread that keeps tabs on them?

Here are some.

Recovery of LVTH-6s for use with the Philippine Marine Ready Force in Berlin Brigade Camo

Marine Multiple Purpose Vehicle

Marine Scout Sniper Rifle - Gen 1

Recovered V-150 converted as an ambulance

As of writing, I still hadn't received permission to share his replacement, but MBLT6@defenseph sent me the following IM on the August the 9th.


From the Talisman gun truck . . .

. . . to the Marine Scout Sniper Rifle . . .

. . . to the M249 acquisition, the FIRST acquisition under the AFP Modernization Program . . .

. . . the myriad of innovations at the CSSB . . . (to include follow-ons to the Talisman that was dismantled after he moved on to other positions)

. . . record breaking achievements at the Government Arsenal.

Your unparalleled track record will be sorely missed. Your successor will have very very big shoes to fill.



General Discussion / Re: Antarctic Treaty model for South China Sea
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:57:46 AM »
Given that China actually accepted Philippine sovereignty over the Calamian Service Contract by signing on to it, there is precedent for China actually accepting less than complete sovereignty when dealing with us.

Perhaps we could actually start the process by dealing with other claimant nations.

Taiwan . . . will be an interesting matter to deal with. 


See here:

JV Partners and Percent Equity :  China National Offshore Oil Company International Limited (CNOOC) – Operator  51%, PNOC EC 28%, Mitra Energy Limited (MITRA) 21%.

Project Description: SC 57 was awarded to PNOC EC on 15 September 2005. It covers a total area of 7,120 sq. km. in offshore Northwest Palawan and is situated around fifty (50) kms. northwest (NW) from the north-westernmost tip of Busuanga Island.

CNOOC farmed-in into SC 57 on 3 April 2006 acquiring 51% participating interest and operatorship while Mitra Energy farmed-in on 3 March 2006 getting 21%.  The Deed of Assignment to formalize their entry has yet to be signed by the President of the Philippines.

< Edited >

However, the request for approval of the Deed of Assignment to CNOOC and Mitra Energy has been pending since 2006 with the Office of the President (OP). SC 57 is currently under force majeure but exploration activities will resume once approval is granted.

By being party to the Service Contract, doesn't it mean that China is bound by the terms of that contract, which includes recognition of Philippine laws?

Doesn't this mean that this sets a precedent for China's policies within the WPS . . . at least from a legal standpoint?


< Edited >

W I T N E S S E T H; That:

WHEREAS, all Petroleum, Crude Oil, Crude, Natural Gas and/or Casinghead Petroleum Spirit of the Philippines belong to the State and their disposition, exploration, development, exploitation and utilization  is under the full control and supervision of the DEPARTMENT under  Presidential Decree No. 87, as amended, otherwise known as the Oil Exploration and Development Act of 1972 (the “Act"), Republic Act 7638 otherwise known as the Department of Energy Act of 1992, and Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution;

WHEREAS, the Act declares it to be the policy of the State to hasten the discovery and production of indigenous Petroleum through the utilization of Government and/or private resources;

WHEREAS, the CONTRACTOR desires and agrees to provide funds, and apply its appropriate and advanced technology and expertise to cooperate with the DEPARTMENT for the exploration, development and exploitation of Petroleum resources within the Contract Area and agrees to be subject to the laws and decrees of the Government and other rules and regulations of the DEPARTMENT in the implementation of the Contract;

NOW, THEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, the DEPARTMENT and CONTRACTOR hereby stipulate and agree, as follows:

< Edited >

Infrastructure and Nautical Highways / Nido Petroleum Limited
« on: August 14, 2017, 01:05:54 AM »

Company Profile


Nido Petroleum Limited (“Nido” or “the Company”) is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the Philippines. The Company has an impressive inventory of assets comprising a mix of producing assets, development opportunities and attractive exploration prospects. Nido is headquartered in Perth, Western Australia and has a fully staffed office in Manila, Philippines. The Company is owned by BCP Energy International Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited ('Bangchak') of Thailand. For further information about Bangchak please visit


Nido holds a dominant position in the North West Palawan Basin in the Philippines with interests in Service Contracts that have a gross acreage position of 2,640,000 hectares. The Basin is highly prospective for oil and gas exploration and has a history of commercial discoveries. Water depths in the basin range from less than 100 metres to in excess of 2,000 metres. The large contiguous acreage position provides basin-wide exposure to multiple play types and contains material world-class prospects.

Producing assets include the Galoc Oil Field (55.88% interest), Nido A and B Fields (22.49% interest) and Matinloc Field (22.28% interest). Nido also holds a 22.28% interest in the West Linapacan A and B Oil Fields which are currently under review by the West Linapacan Joint Venture.

General Discussion / PCG to receive 7 maritime response helicopters
« on: August 14, 2017, 12:40:19 AM »
ICC approves 6 big-ticket projects costing P57.5 billion
Published August 13, 2017, 10:00 PM
By Chino S. Leyco

The Cabinet-level Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) approved six new big-ticket projects involving infrastructure and the mobilization financial resources, the Department of Finance (DOF) announced yesterday.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the ICC approved P57.5 billion worth of big-ticket projects that would benefit local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao and help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

< Edited >

The ICC also approved the procurement of seven maritime disaster response helicopters to strengthen and expand the Philippine Coast Guard’s capability to respond to maritime incidents during natural calamities.

< Edited >

Dragon Economy / Should We Worry about China Dumping U.S. Treasuries?
« on: August 13, 2017, 09:00:37 PM »
Should We Worry about China Dumping U.S. Treasuries?
March 31, 2017
Zane E. Brown

Trade and geopolitical tensions have spurred investor concerns that China may unload all or part of its holdings of U.S. Treasuries totaling $1.1 trillion.

In Brief

    Trade and geopolitical tensions between China and the United States have raised concerns that China may sell all or part of its massive holdings of U.S. Treasury securities in response to developments that Beijing considers unfavorable to it.

    A large-scale disposal of Treasuries by China could lead to negative economic and market consequences worldwide, spurred by a spike in U.S. interest rates and a big drop in the U.S. dollar.

    It seems likely, though, that if the selling process were to lead to financial instability, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) could emerge as a buyer of Treasuries to calm markets.

    If China were to sell its $1.1 trillion of Treasuries in retaliation for pressure from Washington to balance its trade surplus, for example, the effect may be the opposite of what Beijing intends.

    Why? For China, selling Treasuries—and the U.S. currency it receives as proceeds—could actually lead to the undesirable outcomes of weakening the U.S. dollar and strengthening the yuan (thereby making Chinese exports more expensive).

    Meanwhile, China has become less critical to U.S. Treasury financing, as Beijing’s role as a large-scale purchaser of Treasuries has diminished somewhat over the past several years.

    The key takeaway—Analysis suggests that investor fears over China’s holdings may not be realized, and even if they were, and the Fed took mitigating action, the consequences likely would be less severe than initially believed.

< Edited >

Japan surpasses China as the U.S.’s largest creditor
Published: Dec 16, 2016 11:36 a.m. ET

Japan has overtaken China as the largest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury debt, according to data released by the Treasury Department late Thursday.

The latest data, which measures shifts in foreigners’ Treasury holdings during the month of October, show China dumped $41.3 billion in Treasury bonds, bringing total holdings of private and official investors (i.e. its central bank, the People’s Bank of China) to $1.115 trillion. Japanese investors also dumped Treasurys in October, but at a much slower pace: The Japanese sold $4.5 billion, bringing their net holdings to $1.131 trillion.

The data don’t account for Treasurys owned by Chinese investors that are held in custody accounts in other countries, which could alter the rankings. But by this measure, China has held the top spot for a number of years, though Japan briefly overtook it for one month in February 2015.

< Edited >

Because of its far-reaching implications for the Treasury market and the broader U.S. economy, the trend is making investors nervous. If foreign demand continues to wane, the U.S. Federal government will be forced to pay higher interest rates on its debt, forcing it to spend more of its annual budget on debt service.

“Flagging foreign sponsorship for U.S. Treasuries remains the No. 2 concern for investors we speak with, No. 1 is whether Trumponomics ultimately will lead to reflation and growth,” said Ian Lyngen and Aaron Kohli, a team of fixed income strategists at BMO Capital Markets.

< Edited >

China has been selling Treasury bonds since before the election, but Trump’s anti-China rhetoric, and his decision to accept a congratulatory call from Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, have angered the Chinese, have ignited speculation that the PBOC could seek revenge by sowing discord in the Treasury market.

But if China does step up the pace of selling too much, Kohli believes the Federal Reserve would step in as the buyer to calm the market and prevent U.S. borrowing costs from skyrocketing.

“I don’t think they would allow a disorderly increase in yields to persist because of the negative impact it would have on economic conditions,” Kohli said.


Project:   West Linapacan A and B Oil Fields
Location:   NW Palawan Basin, offshore Philippines.
Working interest   22.28%
Operator   The Philodrill Corporation
Area   18,000 hectares
Initial Discovery:   Discovered in 1981 at 290 metre water depth

Brief description:   

West Linapacan is located in 300 to 350 metres of water, approximately 60 kilometres offshore from Palawan Island in Block C2 of Service Contract 14 (SC14) in the NW Palawan Basin, Philippines. It comprises two main oil bearing structures – West Linapacan A and B – and several seismic leads. The West Linapacan A and B structures are northwest southeast trending, fault-bounded anticlines approximately 7.6 kilometres apart. Both fields produced 32 - 34º API oil from the fractured Nido limestone reservoirs.

Recent activity:   

The Philodrill Corporation was appointed operator of the West Linapacan Joint Venture following the removal of RMA
West Linapacan Pte Ltd from the Service Contract by the Department of Energy.


Project:   Nido & Mantiloc Oil Fields
Location:   NW Palawan Basin, offshore Philippines.
Working interest   Block A: 22.49%
Block B: 28.28%
Operator   The Philodrill Corporation
Area   68,000 hectares
Initial Discovery:   Discovered in 1981 at 290 metre water depth

Brief description:   

The Nido oil field is located in Block A of Service Contract 14 (SC 14), at the southern end of the NW Palawan Basin, approximately 60 kilometres west of Palawan Island. The Matinloc oil field is located in Block B of Service Contract 14 (SC 14), approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Palawan Island and 54 kilometres north of the Nido oil field in 25 metres of water.

In mid-1979 three additional development wells (Nido-A2, -B2 and -B3) were completed and a production platform was installed at Nido-A and Nido-B standing in waters of 43 metres and 78 metres, respectively.

Matinloc is situated in 25 metres of water and was discovered in January 1979 with the drilling of the wildcat Matinloc-1 well, intersecting a carbonate reef build-up. The field is mapped as a four-way closure with a gross hydrocarbon column of more than 91 metres.

Matinloc-2 and Matinloc-3 were drilled directionally from the Matinloc-1 location in early 1980 and 1982, respectively.

The Nido fields produce crude oil with a gravity of 27° API and 2% sulphur content, and is marketed into refineries in the Philippines together with the Matinloc crude.
Recent activity:   

The Nido and Matinloc oil fields continue to produce oil on a cyclical basis.


Project:   Galoc Oil Field
Location:   Palawan Basin, offshore Philippines
Working interest   55.88%
Operator   Galoc Production Company WLL
Area   16,000 hectares
Initial Discovery:   Discovered in 1981 at 290 metre water depth

Brief description:   

The Galoc oil field is situated in Block C1 of Service Contract 14 (SC 14) in the North West Palawan Basin, offshore Philippines. The field is located approximately 70 kilometres west of Culion Island in a water depth of approximately 320 metres. The reservoir depth is 2,100 – 2,200 metres with a 57+ metre gross oil column consisting of early Miocene turbidite sandstone with 16+% average reservoir porosity. The field produces a 35° API, 1.6% sulphur content crude that is marketed within the southeast and north Asian regions.

Recent activity:

The Galoc Joint Venture is continuing to evaluate further exploration, appraisal and incremental development opportunities at the Galoc Oil Field and in the SC 14 C1 Contract Area.

General Discussion / Re: Service Contract No. 57 – Calamian
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:12:06 PM »
The President laid out his "red line" to Al Jezeera last year (see here): He will not compromise Philippine sovereignty. He EXPLICITY stated that he is not authorized to do so, and has publicly declared that any President the does is subject to impeachment.

Given that Duterte is a person who bends the law when he can, that admission of a limitation is significant. That means that any way forward that involves China -- assuming that that is the way we will go instead of dealing with either India or Russia -- will be within the confines of the Philippine constitution. Many posters on the FB extension appear to assume that any deal with China will be dictated by China, which flies in the fact of recent precedent that clearly shows that China is actually willing to defer to the Philippines on matters of sovereignty, as evidence by Service Contract 57.

First posts / Re: Offshore oil: The way forward
« on: August 12, 2017, 07:26:18 PM »
On Chinese terms . . . or can government really negotiate a better deal?


Philippines Faces Post-Arbitration Dilemma Over Reed Bank

Would Manila accept exploration of Reed Bank or joint development on Chinese terms?
By Jeremy Maxie
July 12, 2016

< Edited >

Double-Edged Dilemma

Now that the arbitration award has been announced, Manila will face increased lobbying pressure as well as public support to resume exploration in Reed Bank. Silently capitulating to possible unilateral Chinese exploration is not a viable political option for Manila. The dilemma for Manila will be whether to engage in preemptive or reciprocal unilateral exploration that would almost certainly be forcefully opposed by Beijing and present escalation risks, or enter into negotiations with Beijing on joint development that would risk inciting domestic political opposition as well as disapproval from Washington.

With the recent election of President Rodrigo Duterte, the opportunity for joint development with China seems ripe. On July 5, Duterte repeated his interest in holding bilateral negotiations with China. The newly appointed Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. stated on July 8 that the new government was willing to discuss with China options to jointly explore and mutually benefit from disputed resources. However, Yasay had to issue a rejoinder the follow day to clarify his previous comments in response to public backlash for his apparent willingness to share Philippine resources with China. Yasay’s underlying assumptions appear to be that the arbitration award is essentially unenforceable, but may strengthen Manila’s bargaining position in bilateral negotiations with Beijing on joint development.

If history is any indication of future behavior, Philippine public opinion will be strongly opposed to any agreement that is perceived as too compromising on national sovereignty over its offshore resource to China’s benefit. As with the defunct JMSU, joint development would likely be highly scrutinized by the political opposition. These domestic political factors will significantly restraint Duterte’s maneuverability in negotiations with Beijing.

The forceful logic of China’s presumptive position toward Reed Bank is clear: With the Malampaya gas field expected to be depleted in 8-12 years, the timely development of Reed Bank is essential to Philippine energy security. However, time is on China’s side. Through coercion and harassment, China can indefinitely delay the exploration and development of Reed Bank. The Philippines’ only rational option is to agree to joint development with China, albeit on China’s terms, since Philippine companies are unable to develop Reed Bank alone and international partners are reluctant to participate.

If successful, joint development would be a geopolitical victory for Beijing since it would facilitate a rapprochement between Beijing and Manila, make China a critical partner in the Philippines’ long-term energy security, drive a political wedge between Manila and Washington and further weaken ASEAN unity. The downside risks for China is that a heavy-handed play could provoke a public backlash which pushes the populist Duterte to take a strongly nationalist position. In this scenario, Beijing’s gambit would likely have the unintended consequence of scuttling Chinese-Philippine rapprochement while pushing Duterte closer to Washington. This would lock in the status quo, with Reed Bank exploration and development indefinitely delayed and Philippine energy security in a vulnerable position.

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