Oil firms roll back price for 2nd week


    Local oil players have implemented another price rollback effective today, September 15 following the slump in global crude as stockpiles rise globally.

    According to the Department of Energy, the latest average Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P48.75, diesel at P33.80 and kerosene at P36.56.

    Shell and Seaoil are cutting by P1 the per liter price of gasoline; P1.55 of diesel and; P1.45 of kerosene.

    As of September 8, year-to-date adjustments on fuel prices summed up to a net decrease of P4.22 per liter for gasoline, P9.44 per liter for diesel and P13.94 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of Friday last week, Brent crude ended at $39.83 a barrel, down by 0.6 percent as US crude settled at $37.33 a barrel.

    “The financial markets are continuing to set the tone, including on the oil market… fears about an oversupply have added to the general feeling of uncertainty,” a Commerzbank analysis was quoted in the said report.

    It added that in the United States alone, crude stockpiles rose 2 million barrels in the first week of September as refineries slowly returned to operations after production sites were shut due to storms in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Likewise, traders are starting to book tankers again to store crude oil and diesel which is a signal of oversupply amid a stalled economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia will meet again this week to consider how to deal with worldwide oversupply.

    Meanwhile, Senate committee on energy chairman Sherwin Gatchalian raised the need for transparency in the downstream oil industry in the pricing mechanism for pump prices of fuel products.

    He issued such statement after a Supreme Court (SC) ruling barred a Manila trial court from directing the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue and Commission on Audit to open and examine the books of accounts of Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Chevron Philippines for alleged monopoly and collusion.

    The SC ruled that under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act, a task force between the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice is mandated to investigate and file the necessary complaints with the proper court against erring oil companies.

    “I’m planning to file a bill that will give more teeth to existing laws in the downstream oil industry and we are studying ways to strengthen the anti-trust safeguards in RA (Republic Act) 8479 and how it can interact with the Philippine Competition Act,” Gatchalian said.

    “The premise of the law is to provide reasonable prices, encourage competition and investments. The cut-throat competition among oil companies leading to lower prices, which was envisioned when RA 8479 was enacted, is simply not happening,” he added. (J.Macapagal)