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Business

Oil firms press gov’t on OPSF claims

- Ted P. Torres -
The major oil companies are still trying to collect a total of P2.6 billion which they claim the government owes them under the defunct Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF).

The amount represents OPSF claims covering the period when the 1996 version of the Oil Deregulation Law was placed under a temporary restraining order (TRO) and the local oil industry reverted to a regulated environment.

Under the OPSF scheme, Petron is trying to collect a little over a billion pesos, Shell around P800 million, and Caltex P500 million. Government through the Department of Energy (DOE) is contesting the claims.

Shell vice president Rey Gamboa said that when the TRO was served by the Supreme Court (SC) it automatically meant that the industry reverted to the regulated mode with the OPSF still in effect.

The OPSF was designed to serve as a buffer or cushion from any sudden surge in crude prices. If world crude prices were high, oil companies would draw from it to cover for possible losses instead of raising their prices. On the other hand, if world crude prices are dropping, the oil companies would infuse into the fund instead of dropping local petroleum prices.

Last year, government said it paid a total of P2.6 billion in claims P2.1 billion in July and P500 million in September.

BILLION

CALTEX

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

OIL

OIL DEREGULATION LAW

OIL PRICE STABILIZATION FUND

OPSF

PETRON

PRICES

REY GAMBOA

SUPREME COURT

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