Energy dept 'closely monitoring' fallout from Saudi attack

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2019 08:35 AM | Updated as of Sep 16 2019 07:25 PM

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MANILA -- (3rd UPDATE) The Department of Energy (DOE) said on Monday it was "closely monitoring" the fallout from drone attacks at the center of Saudi Arabia's oil industry.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said he convened an emergency meeting of the DOE and related agencies over the weekend to discuss the situation.

Oil supply from the world's top producer "will be reduced," Cusi told ANC. The Philippines has enough reserves for at least 30 days, as required by law, he added. 

"We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country," he said in a statement.

"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," he said.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said they will monitor price movements that may result from "panic or anticipation/speculation regarding the impact of rising world oil prices."

Lopez, however, downplayed the effects of a possible spike in oil prices, saying oil contributes only 5 to 8 percent to the total cost of manufacturing goods. 

Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr earlier said the oil field attack could affect the Philippines "deeply" since it could choke supply and cause prices to rise.

Petron, the Philippines' largest oil firm, meanwhile, said there would be no supply disruptions from its end. 

"We have adequate supply to support our domestic requirements," Petron said in a statement. 

Pilipinas Shell said it will try to ensure the continuous supply of fuel to its customers.

Both Petron and Shell said they are closely monitoring the situation in the world market. 

Saudi Arabia's 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of effective spare capacity in August accounted for more than two-thirds of OPEC's on-hand supply of 3.2 million bpd, according to the International Energy Agency, with most of the rest from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

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Oil will trade higher due to security concerns following the attack, but the price spikes will unlikely be felt at pump stations this week, said Foreign Brief analyst Max Klaver.

"I don't think consumers will be feeling this tomorrow, maybe not even this week. Beyond that, in the medium to long term, it's very possible," Klaver told ANC's Early Edition.

While Saudi Arabia can stabilize supply in the short term or 1 month at the longest, the attack shook confidence in the security of its oil facilities, he said. -- reports from Warren de Guzman and Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News and Reuters