Oil prices down, Luzon on yellow alert


    Consumers will enjoy lower priced petroleum products for the week but may have to limit their electricity consumption as power reserves in the Luzon Grid is scarce due to the shutdown of numerous power plants.

    After two consecutive weeks of mixed movements, oil prices are reduced due to the continuing concerns over the outcome of the US-China trade talks.

    According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the latest average Metro Manila price per liter of gasoline (RON95) is at P55.79, diesel at P42.09 and kerosene at P46.15.

    Shell and Seaoil cut the per liter prices of gasoline by P0.20 and P0.10 for both diesel and kerosene.

    PTT, Phoenix Petroleum and Total adjusted their prices downward by P0.20 for gasoline and by P0.10 for diesel.

    The DOE said as of November 19, year-to-date adjustments amounted to a net increase of P6.72 per liter for gasoline, P3.26 per liter for diesel and P0.54 per liter for kerosene.

    Reuters reported that as of last Friday, brent crude futures settled at $63.39 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude ended at $57.77 a barrel.

    The drop in oil prices could have been higher if not for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia’s announcement that they will likely extend existing production cuts by three more months to mid-2020 when they meet next month.

    Meanwhile, the DOE placed the Luzon grid under yellow alert level yesterday as the total capacity of power plants that went on planned outages hit 2,176 megawatts (MW) while that of unplanned outages reached 1,261 MW.

    In a report disseminated by the agency, a total of 1,121 MW worth of de-rated power from various power plants also contributed to the situation.

    The power plant with the biggest capacity that went on planned outage is the 647 MW Sual coal-fired power plant in Quezon Province that went out last Saturday and is expected to return online by December 22.