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

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2019   •   125

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 wants oil firms to explain discrepancies in price adjustments

Robie de Guzman   •   October 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) has ordered 13 oil firms to explain the discrepancies it noted in the rollback implemented for gasoline and diesel prices.

The DOE said in a statement issued Wednesday it issued show-cause orders “in view of the apparent difference in the oil price rollback calculations” between the department and oil companies.

“Mas mababa po ‘yung rollback nila by about P0.22 for gasoline and about P0.06 for diesel and we want them to explain it,” DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido said in a separate press briefing in Malacañang.  

“Hindi naman po namin sinasabi na mali sila but we want to give them the opportunity to explain to us bakit po ganun,” he added.

Recipients have until Monday, October 7 to formally respond to the department.

Aside from oil companies, the DOE also asked importers and suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to explain the amount of price hike they implemented, which is higher compared to prices in the international market.

Pulido said the issuance of the show-cause orders is in line with its mandate to protect consumer welfare and ensure fair oil industry practices. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Oil price rollback looms this week

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2019

Oil companies are set to have an oil price rollback this week.

Phoenix Petroleum already implemented an oil price rollback on Sunday (September 29). Their gasoline price went down by P1.55 per liter while diesel was down by P0.50 per liter.

SEAOIL Philippines has also reduced their gasoline price by P1.45/liter, diesel by P0.60/liter, and kerosene by P1.00/liter.

Meanwhile, Petro Gazz and Pilipinas Shell will implement the price rollback on Tuesday (October 1).

Petro Gazz cut prices of gasoline by P1.55/liter and diesel by P 0.50/liter while Pilipinas Shell will cut prices of gasoline by P1.45/liter, diesel by P0.60/liter and kerosene by P1.00/liter.—AAC

DOE warns suspension of oil excise tax if global price hike continues

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government may suspend the implementation of excise tax in oil products if global prices continue to soar in the coming months as a result of the recent drone attacks on two large oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), they cannot tell yet as to how much the price hike may be because it will depend on the trading price in the world market.

Nevertheless, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi assured that local oil companies have enough supply of oil which can last up to 30 days.

In the event that oil prices soar, excise tax in oil may be suspended as provisioned in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law 1.

“Meron tayo dyan na safety net na sinasabi na kapag yung presyo ng langis in the world market, yung pag-aangkat natin breaches the 80 dollar per barrel in 3 consecutive months, we might intend to suspend excise tax,” Cusi explained.

But the official noted that as of now, there is a slim chance for the price hike, especially so that Saudi Aramco has announced to resume its normal operation in September.

Meanwhile, the DOE is also preparing for the possible adverse effect of the oil price hike to the impeding maintenance shutdown of Malampaya Power Plant next month.

Once the Malampaya is shut down, power distributors will have to buy electricity from oil-powered plants which may still lead to a power rate increase.

“Iyan pinag-aralan na natin iyan. Number 1, we want to make sure that there will be no power interruption because of the maintenance. Number two, that there will be no spike in price because of the maintenance,” Cusi said.

“Kaya lang syempre itong misbehavior ng price in the world market, talagang pagsipa noon mapi-feel natin,” he added.

Aside from diesel power plants, coal and hydropower plants are among the alternative power sources that the government is eyeing. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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