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)
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