DOE, oil companies gear up for effects of Saudi attacks

    Watching with caution. Global oil prices have been erratic since last Saturday’s attack on Saudi Aramco’s facilities.
    Watching with caution. Global oil prices have been erratic since last Saturday’s attack on Saudi Aramco’s facilities.

    The coordinated drone strikes against Saudi Arabia’s key oil sites over the weekend have fuelled calls for the Department of Energy (DOE)  to ensure oil companies comply with the required stockpile to ensure stability of supply, .

    But  DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the impact of the attack on Saudi Aramco facilities last Saturday, if any,  would be felt by Tuesday next week yet.

    Over the medium to long term, the DOE must diversify the country’s oil supplier portfolio  to shield consumers from price volatility in view of external forces such as the Saudi Aramco incident, according to Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on energy.

    Last Saturday’s attack  shut over 5 percent of world market supply and global crude price movements have become erratic.

    Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter and the attack has effectively isolated 5.7 million barrels per day of supply.

    Cusi said the agency convened on Sunday an emergency meeting with members of the local energy industry but did not provide details.

    “We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country. Rest assured that the DOE, together with the entire energy family, is closely monitoring the situation, and will keep the public properly informed of developments on the matter,”  Cusi said in a statement.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said Malacanang is  waiting for the assessment and possible recommendations from DOE, Department of National Defense (DND) and National Security Adviser, among others.

    “We will have to wait for the report the DND Secretary and the National Security Adviser so that we can respond properly… Including DOE, Energy,” Panelo said.

    Gatchalian said “unforeseen external disruptions on the oil supply chain, such as what happened in Saudi Arabia, can create massive disruptions in our local transportation and power sector. “

    He said  the Philippines has been importing 33.7 percent of its crude oil from Saudi Arabia as of 2018, making the country the top supplier of crude oil in the country.

    He added the DOE, in cooperation with the local oil industry suppliers, should formulate a contingency plan that will temporarily replace Saudi oil in the short term until supply is normalized.

    Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp, meanwhile said it is  closely monitoring the developments in Saudi Arabia and the world markets and assured it will exert all effort to ensure continuous supply of fuel to the motoring public and  customers.

    After two consecutive weeks of decline, oil prices are up anew effective today attributed to optimistic views on China and the United States’ ongoing trade war.

    According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the latest average Metro Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P51.44, diesel at P41.04 and kerosene at P46.45.

    Shell and Seaoil increased the prices of gasoline by P1.35 per liter, diesel by P0.85 per liter and kerosene by P1 per liter.

    Phoenix Petroleum, PTT and Total adjusted prices upward by P1.35 per liter for gasoline and P0.85 per liter for diesel.

    DOE said  as of September 10, year-to-date adjustments stand at a net increase of P4.16 per liter for gasoline, P3.17 per liter for diesel and P1.01 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of last Friday, Brent crude settled at $60.22 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures delivery ended at $54.85 a barrel.