DOE meets with oil industry players ahead of big-time price hike

DOE downstream oil meeting

The Department of Energy (DOE) met with downstream oil industry players on Friday to come up with a collective strategy to ensure that there’s enough oil supply amid the soaring prices affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The meeting was held ahead of the anticipated big-time oil price hike this Tuesday, wherein diesel would go up between Php5.30 and Php5.50 per liter, kerosene between Php4.00 and 4.10/liter, and gasoline between Php3.60 and Php3.80/ liter.

The DOE says that there still is an inventory of 44.5 days for diesel, 85.4 days for gasoline, 80.2 days for kerosene, 27.7 days for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 69.9 days for jet fuel, and 44.4 days for fuel oil. 

While Cusi assured that there is sufficient supply, he asked industry players to comply with the Minimum Inventory Requirement and other relevant quality and quantity standards as these are “critical components of the country’s energy security.” 

Oil companies and bulk suppliers are required to maintain at least 15 days worth of petroleum products supply, and a minimum stock equivalent to seven days for LPG. Refiners are required to maintain 30 days worth of crude oil and refined petroleum products in their inventory. 

The DOE also said that oil firms assured the agency that no supply issues are foreseen amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Meanwhile, Cusi has reiterated the call for the establishment of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) that would help decrease the impact of global supply disruptions. Cusi has asked oil companies to partner with the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), which would give the DOE access to PNOC’s available storage capacities in order to fast-track the SPR. 

Cusi also said that Php2.5 billion has been allotted for fuel subsidies for public utility drivers under the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s Pantawid Pasada program

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, earlier said he plans to file a bill to institutionalize the program, which he believes is more economically viable than suspending the fuel excise tax – a proposal that the Department of Finance already rejected.