Philippine oil imports dropped one percent in the first half of the year due data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed.
Crude imports reached only 37,941 million barrels (MB) against the previous year’s 38,294 MB.
The Middle East continued to be the biggest source of oil with 32,163 MB or 85 percent, of which 34.7 percent or 13,164 MB was sourced from Kuwait.
The country is now the major supplier of crude oil and has overtaken Saudi Arabia for the top spot.
Crude oil sourced from Asean and local production meanwhile stood at 3,434 MB equivalent to 9.1 percent of the total crude mix, while the remaining 2,343 MB or 6.2 percent came from Russia.
Imports of petroleum product in the first half rose 17.7 percent to 44,027 MB from 37,410 MB during the same period in 2015.
Total crude processed by local refineries rose 1 percent to 39,580 MB from 39,191 MB in 2015. Likewise, local petroleum refinery performance improved by 2.3 percent to 39,036 MB from 38,167 MB.
The country’s current maximum working crude distillation capacity is 285,000 barrels per stream day.
Total demand for finished petroleum products also grew 13 percent to 80,382 MB from the previous 71,103 MB which translates to an average daily requirement of 441.7 MB compared with last year’s level of 392.8 MB.
Product demand mix was dominated by diesel oil, 41.9 percent; gasoline, 22.3 percent; fuel oil, 10.3 percent; LPG, 9.7 percent; kerosene, 9.6 percent; naphtha, 4.4 percent and other products, 1.8 percent.
Petroleum products exported in first half 2016 increased by 23.1 percent to 6,700 MB from 5,444 MB in 2015.
The local market is still dominated by Petron Corp. with 30.2 percent, followed by Pilipinas Shell, 20.2 percent and Chevron, 6.5 percent.
The remaining 36.2 percent is shared by PTT Philippine Corp., Total Phils., Seaoil Corp., Phoenix, Liquigaz, Petronas, Prycegas, Unioil, Isla LPG Corp., Jetti, Eastern Corp., Filoil Energy Co., as well as end-users that directly imported most of their requirements.
Despite the overall growth in production and demand, last year’s net oil import bill amounting to $3.39 billion fell by 28.9 percent from $4.77 billion in 2015 due to lower import cost for both crude and petroleum products.
Total import of crude oil which amounted to $1,435.6 million meanwhile dropped by 37.2 percent from $2,284.8 million of 1H 2015 due to lower CIF price per barrel from 2015’s $59.664 per billion barrel to $37.837 per billion barrel.
The country’s petroleum exports earnings for the period also dipped by 24.3 percent to $316.2 million from $417.9 million in the first half of 2015.