MANILA, Philippines — To take advantage of low global oil prices triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to stockpile crude oil to secure the country’s supply should prices go up again in the future.
During the Joint Congressional Energy Commission (JCEC) hearing on Friday, Senator Sonny Angara asked DOE regarding the “unprecedented low prices of crude oil” and what would be its advantage to the country.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told lawmakers that DOE and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) are looking at available storage to enable the stockpiling of crude oil.
“Ang ginawa po natin dito sa atin sa Pilipinas, we are looking at available storage so makapagimbak po tayo. Magkaroon po tayo ng strategic supply na makuha natin nang mura at magamit natin po ito pagdating ng panahon na tataas ang presyo. Ito pong crude oil po ang ating iniisip na iimbak,” he said.
(What we are doing here in the Philippines is we are looking at available storage so we can stockpile. We will have a strategic supply, which we can get at a cheaper price and use this when the time comes that prices increase. We are thinking of stockpiling crude oil.)
“Pinagaaralan po natin ‘yan with PNOC. Pinagaaralan po ‘yan para magkaroon tayo ng strategic inventory and hopefully, we can do this kasi nga po, medyo limited tayo sa time… We might do this together with the present industry players. Pinapagaralan ho kung paano tayo makinabang at maipasa po itong advantage na ito sa ating mga consumers,” he added.
(We are studying it with PNOC. It’s being studied so we will have a strategic inventory and hopefully, we can do this because somehow we have limited time… We might do this together with the present industry players. We are studying how we can benefit and pass on this advantage to our consumers.)
Industry players struggling
Cusi also mentioned that industry players are struggling to stimulate cash flow.
“Ito pong supply ng pagbababa ng presyo ng oil is because of pagbagsak ng demand and there was really an overproduction. Sa ngayon po because of the depressed price since pag-start ng nitong ating (enhanced community quarantine) talaga po namang nahirapan ang ating mga industry players sa cash flow,” he said.
(This lowered price of oil supply is because of the drop in demand and there was really an overproduction. As of now due to the depressed price since the enhanced community quarantine started, our industry players really had difficulty on cash flow.)
“Kasi the items they got was high and now they are selling them at a cheaper price. So, nahirapan po sila but of course, they will able to replenish that naman po ng cheaper supply,” he added.
(Because the items they got was hight and now they are selling them at a cheaper price. So, they are having difficulty but of course, they will able to replenish that with cheaper supply.)
Worldwide oil price futures have dropped below zero for the first time as demand worldwide crashed when the COVID-19 pandemic halted economic activities around the globe.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.