Hefty oil price hikes this week
Gasoline prices are expected to increase by P2.10 to P2.30 per liter, and diesel prices by P1.60 to P1.80 per liter this week, a source said.
Edd Gumban /File
Hefty oil price hikes this week
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Another round of hefty price hikes will greet motorists this week as the impact of the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities continues to shake the global market.

Gasoline prices are expected to increase by P2.10 to P2.30 per liter, and diesel prices by P1.60 to P1.80 per liter this week, a source said.

Meanwhile, Unioil said it is forecasting significant price increases next week.

“Diesel should go up by P1.70-P1.80 and gasoline should go up by P2.20-P2.30,” it said.

The attacks last week on two major oil facilities of state-run Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia were expected to cut the kingdom’s output by 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) or more than five percent of the global oil supply. This significantly pushed up oil prices, with the Brent seeing its highest jump in over 30 years.

By mid-week, global oil prices eased after Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Arab nation would be able to fully restore oil output by end of the month.

“We just heard the good news that Saudi Aramco was able to restore and production will be back to normal, so that is a good development and I hope that the price will correct and we will be monitoring how the global market behaves, but what we would like to assure the public is the inventory we have is sufficient to keep the economy running,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had said.

This would be the second straight week oil companies would be implementing significant price hikes.

Last week, local oil firms raised gasoline prices by P1.35 per liter, diesel prices by P0.85 per liter and kerosene prices by P1 per liter.

Latest Department of Energy (DOE) data showed year-to-date adjustments stand at a net increase of P5.51 per liter for gasoline, P4.02 per liter for diesel and P2.01 per liter for kerosene.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, has revived calls for the creation of a world-class think tank to bridge research and policy gaps in the Philippine energy sector in hopes of fostering greater energy security, sustainability and affordability.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy, made the call in the aftermath of the Saudi attacks.

In pushing for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 172 or An Act Creating the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute (PERPI), which he filed, Gatchalian pointed out that having a local energy research and policy center may help prepare or insulate the country from supply shocks.

“The vision for this bill is really to enable the government and the academe to level up the knowledge base and the research capabilities of the energy sector,” he said. “The creation of PERPI is crucial for the country since we are dependent on a lot of importation when it comes to energy. Over the weekend, the attack on Saudi oil fields leaves us vulnerable to a lot of supply shocks.”

“Through PERPI, the government may undertake studies on short- and long-term policies on protecting the country from supply shocks; on the optimal minimum inventory/stockpile to cushion the impact of supply shocks; and the estimated effect on pump price because of certain supply shocks,” the lawmaker said.

SBN 172 mandates the establishment of the PERPI at the University of the Philippines. It will be tasked to conduct multidisciplinary energy research, incubate and develop cutting edge technologies and serve as the sparring partner for the government during the energy policy-making process.

“The energy sector is naturally characterized by rapidly changing technologies, which necessitates continuous study and research. The results of these inquiries are crucial in ensuring that energy policies are responsive to the evolving landscape of the energy sector and its effect on consumers,” he said.

The UP president will be given the authority to appoint the PERPI executive director based on the recommendation of an advisory council. – With Cecille Suerte-Felipe

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