Energy dept. assures PHL has enough oil supply after Saudi oil attacks

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2019   •   323

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) assured that the country has enough oil supply for the coming weeks following the attacks in two large oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia that reduced global supply.

According to DOE Oil Industry and Management Bureau director, Assistant Secretary Rodora Romero, the country’s oil supply remains sufficient to keep the economy running.

Romero also assured the government is monitoring the situation and measures have been prepared to prevent sudden local petroleum price hikes and keep the country from experiencing a possible oil crisis.

“Ang isang paghahanda is ini-ensure namin with the oil companies na compliant sila sa minimum inventory requirement. Ni-revive na rin ulit o binigyan ng instruction ni (DOE) Secretary (Alfonso) Cusi ang Philippine National Oil Company Energy Exploration na talagang maging involved sa importation ng petroleum products,” she said.

Reuters reported that Saturday’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s key oil production facilities has halved the kingdom’s oil output, creating the biggest disruption to global oil supplies in absolute terms since the overthrow of the Iranian Shah in 1979, International Energy Agency data show.

The attacks reduced global supply by 5.7 million barrels per day or equivalent to 5 percent of world crude oil production and sent oil prices soaring, Reuters reported.

Romero said the Philippines only imports 12 percent of oil from Saudi Arabia while the rest comes from the United Arab Emirates.

But should the situation worsen, the energy official said the United States government and members of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) have pledged to tap into their strategic petroleum reserves to keep the market well supplied.

“In the event na hindi nga maibalik ang sabi ng U.S. maglalabas siya ng supply dun sa kanyang strategic petroleum reserve tapos at the same time yung other OPEC countries rin ang sabi nila sakaling kapusin at di makabalik agad yung 5 million barrels per calendar day ng Saudi Aramco mag-iincrease din ng production ang other OPEC countries,” Romero said.

Despite assurances of enough supply, several local oil companies have warned that the effects of the crude disruption in Saudi Arabia will still be felt in the country in the form of oil price hikes.

Oil firms have estimated that local pump price hikes may jump by P3 per liter.

In case this happens, the DOE said they will meet with local oil companies to ask them to implement the price increase in a staggered basis so as not to further burden motorists. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano; with a report from Reuters)

DOE assures enough power supply for the rest of the year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

The Department of Energy (DOE) assured that the country has enough power supply to last the rest of the year due to the high amount of power reserve ever since the government implemented community quarantine.

DOE Asec. Redentor Delola there was an average of 30% power demand reduction in Luzon when several areas in the region were put under enhanced community quarantine.

Luzon currently has an actual gross reserve of 3,329 Megawatts (MW). From the available power capacity of 13,356 MW last July 6, the region only had an actual peak demand of 10,335 MW.

Power demand in the Visayas went down by 19%, and 20% in Mindanao.

Mahalaga po ito to ensure na ang mga pangangailangan, lalong lalo na po sa ating mga tahanan, ay nandyan. Wala po tayong inaasahang problema sa suplay (ng kuryente) (This is important, to ensure that the needs of every household are met. We have no impending problem with our (power) supply),” he said.

However, Delola said the Energy Department continues to coordinate with various agencies to address the power interruptions. He clarified that sufficient power supply does not mean that no power interruptions will be experienced.

Inaamin po natin na hindi naman natin maiiwasan lahat ng power outages mayroon po talagang hindi kayang pigilan may mga emergency na nangyayari tulad ng may posteng nabangga (We admit we cannot avoid all power outages. There will be emergencies that might happen like vehicles hitting electric posts),” he said. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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US-Iran tension definitely impacts local fuel prices — DOE

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is monitoring the movement of fuel prices in the international market in view of the ongoing tension in the Middle East particularly between the United States and Iran.

Though the Philippines has a different fuel source other than Iran, the DOE said the conflict has hugely affected other Gulf nations where the country buys oil.

One effect, the DOE fears, is the delay in crude deliveries which will likely affect the prices of oil in the country.

“Ang Iran kasi napaka strategic ng location niya lalo na doon sa dadanan ng ating mga vessel o yung nga barges – iyong (Iran’s location is very strategic. Our vessels or barges pass through its territory, the) Strait of Hormuz,” explained DOE-OIMB Assistant Director Rodelo Romero.

“If you will notice in the past, once na magkaroon ng threat, yun ang target nilang sarahan (once there’s threat, that’s the first target for closure),” he added.

Among the countries in the Middle East that supply oil to the Philippines include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

Meanwhile, the DOE confirmed that no oil company has yet imposed the additional excise tax on oil.

The Department has ordered all oil companies to submit their respective inventory reports until January 8, 2020.

They are also required to put up advisory in their respective oil stations before they impose the third tranche of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law on their products. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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DOE urged to create body to monitor new round of fuel tax hikes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to create a task force that will closely monitor the implementation of the new round of increases in excise tax on fuel.

Gatchalian made the call as the third and last tranche of tax hikes on petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law took effect on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

He said that under the TRAIN Law, the estimated rate impact on pump price for unleaded premium gasoline would be around ₱1.01 per liter, while the estimated rate impact of the third tranche of the excise tax on diesel price is ₱1.65 per liter.

For 100 percent coal contracted power distribution utilities, the estimated rate impact is around ₱0.03 per kilowatt hour.

The senator said the creation of the task force is aimed to protect consumers from premature price increases and profiteering.

“Kailangan paigtinging mabuti ng Department of Energy (DOE) ang pagbabantay laban sa hoarding at profiteering sa bansa ngayong nakaamba ang dagdag na excise tax sa huling pagkakataon,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“Huwag na nating hayaan ang ilang mapagsamantalang retailers na ibenta sa mataas na halaga ang kanilang mga lumang imbentaryong produkto, gayong nabili nila ito bago pa man maimplementa ang third tranche ng excise tax sa fuel,” he added.

Gatchalian noted that local oil companies maintain a minimum inventory equivalent to 15-day supply of petroleum products as provided under DOE’s Department Circular No. 2003-01-001 or the Implementing Guidelines for the Minimum Inventory Requirements of Petroleum of Oil Companies and Bulk Suppliers.

The DOE earlier said the new round of fuel tax hikes are only applicable to new stocks imported beginning January 1, 2020. It also advised oil firms to deplete old stocks before implementing new price schemes reflecting the new levies.

Gatchalian also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor the prices of goods in the market in order to ensure that unscrupulous businessmen will not take advantage and pass on the impact of higher oil prices to consumers as a result of the third tranche of the TRAIN law implementation.

“Mabigat na sa bulsa ng bawat isa ang pagpataw ng excise tax sa krudo. Sana naman ay huwag na natin dagdagan ang pasanin ng taong bayan sa pamamagitan ng hindi makatarungang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin,” he said.

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