Oil firms seen to lose P4 B this year
- Ted P. Torres () - December 14, 2000 - 12:00am
The country’s oil industry is forecast to register a combined net loss of at least P4 billion this year, according to an industry association.

The Philippine Institute of Petroleum Inc. (PIP) said the major reasons for this are the high crude costs, peso depreciation, high interest rates on loans, and government’s continued intervention in price setting.

The price of Dubai crude has risen by over 200 percent since March 1999 while local pump prices have risen by just a little over 60 percent in the same period. Likewise, the peso depreciated by over 30 percent.

In the first nine months of the year, Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., and Caltex Philippines Inc. reportedly registered a combined loss of roughly P3.814 billion.

Earlier, energy official said Petron is forecast to incur a P2-billion loss this year while Shell fears a P1-billion loss.

Meanwhile, PIP executive director Rey Marquez lashed out at the Consumer and Oil Price Watch (COPW) which called for a P1.40 per liter price rollback in January.

Marquez questioned not only the data utilized by COPW but also its intentions and methodology in calling for the rollback.

"How can the entire oil industry rollback when it is experiencing huge unprecedented losses?" he asked.

"Coming from a condition of loss, how can the industry execute a rollback? And starting next year, the industry will have to incur expenses to implement the provisions of the Clean Air Act," Marquez pointed out.

CALTEX PHILIPPINES INC CLEAN AIR ACT CONSUMER AND OIL PRICE WATCH MARQUEZ PETRON CORP PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF PETROLEUM INC PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORP REY MARQUEZ
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