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DOE reviewing TOR to study nat’l oil reserve

The Department of Energy (DOE) is reviewing the terms of reference (TOR) for the public bidding of consultancy services to do the feasibility study as the government aims its own oil reserve operation.

During the Laging Handa briefing yesterday, DOE Assistant Director Rodela Romero said after the failed bidding in getting an adviser to do a study on the establishment of Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the agency still targets to finish the study before the end of the Duterte administration.

In September last year, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) said it aims the establishment of SPR that will involve crude oil and petroleum importation, storage, and distribution facilities within and outside the country.

Romero said the SPR program is a long-term plan and an oil contingency plan that aims to lessen the country’s vulnerability from the impact of supply and price disruptions in the world market.

“So (it is an) assurance that we will be able to build the said strategic petroleum reserve through proper analysis, wherein the government will not incur any losses,” she said in Filipino.

A few months after the onset of the pandemic, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi expressed his intention to build a stockpile of oil to take advantage of low prices of fuel products then, which plummeted below USD20 a barrel.

The government aims to buy oil when prices are low, stock it, and use it for domestic consumption when prices are rising.

This could be a solution to the present oil price woes, in which prices have been increasing for seven straight weeks now.

Moreover, Romero said the DOE has proposed to Congress to give authority to the agency to put up the SPR, “whether commercial or strategic”, to address impacts of oil supply and price disruptions.*PNA

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