MANILA

DOE bracing for impact of attack on Saudi oil fields

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THE energy sector held an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon, September 15, to make sure that the Philippines is "sufficiently prepared" to address any potential impact of the drone attack on Saudi Arabia's major oil fields.

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said representatives from the DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, DOE- Oil Industry Management Bureau, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation, Philippine National Oil Company and PNOC Exploration Corporation convened at the DOE’s headquarters in Taguig City.

"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.

Saudi Arabia is no longer the country's top source of crude oil as it accounted for only 12.2 percent of the crude oil imports in the first half of 2019, according to the DOE Oil Supply/Demand Report for the period.

In the report, the DOE reported an in-country inventory of 17,273 thousand barrels (MB) of crude oil and petroleum product as of end-June 2019.

This was equivalent to a 37-day supply, or 24 days for crude oil and 13 days for petroleum products.

The DOE report said this was 21-percent lower than the 21,865-MB inventory in the first half ending June of 2018 due to a decrease in the volume of crude oil imports.

The minimum inventory requirement (MIR) for refiners is in-country stocks equivalent to 30 days while the MIR for bulk marketers is 15 days and for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) manufacturers, 7 days.

The country's average daily equirement for petroleum products in the first six months of 2019 was 485 MB, higher than the 464 MB in the first half of 2018.

Total demand for the period was 87,790 MB, 4.5 percent higher than the 83,977 MB last year.

The DOE reported an increase in gasoline and diesel oil demand by 9.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

Demand for LPG and kerosene/avturbo also went up by 2.8 and 1.8 percent, respectively, while fuel oil demand decreased by 2.0 percent.

The country imported a total of 57,497 MB of petroleum products in the first half of 2019, 19.5 percent higher than the 48,129 MB imported in the same period of 2018 as production of local oil refineries dipped.

Meanwhile, the country's crude oil imports in the first half of 2019 fell by 30 percent compared to the 42,760-MB imports in the same period in 2018.

The DOE said majority of the crude oil imports, or 73.9 percent, were sourced from the Middle East.

About a third of the total imports, or 9,624 MB or 32.2 percent, came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has replaced Saudi Arabia as top supplier of crude oil into the country.

Kuwait was next with a 26.3 percent share of the total crude mix, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia with 14.5 and 12.2 percent share, respectively.

Only 9.3 percent of the crude import mix originated from the Asean (2,783 MB) and 0.1 percent from local production (32 MB).

The remaining 2.2 percent were from Australia (520 MB), Taiwan (80 MB) and South Korea (57 MB). (MVI/SunStar Philippines)


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