Senate panel to probe DOE’s energy plans amid Aramco attack

MANILA -- The Senate Committee on Energy is set to conduct a hearing on Monday to look into the short-, medium- and long-term plans of the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure adequate oil supply in the Philippines following the attack on the Saudi Arabian Oil Company's (Aramco) key facilities last week.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, panel chair, filed on September 18 Senate Resolution 139 seeking a congressional inquiry into the DOE's plans to achieve energy security and mitigate the adverse repercussions of supply shocks on the country's oil supply and prices.

The DOE, as the primary agency in charge of planning and implementation of comprehensive programs for the supply of energy, needs to inform the Filipino public about the effects of the Saudi Aramco attack on oil supply and prices in the Philippines, Gatchalian said.

The DOE also needs to state its short- and medium-term plans and strategies to ensure continuous and sufficient supply and reasonable prices amidst strains in the Middle East, as well as its long-term plans and strategies to achieve energy security in order to prevent vulnerability to supply shocks and insulate consumers from unexpected shortages and sharp price increases, he added.

The attacks on Aramco facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais have prompted Saudi Arabia to suspend about 50 percent of its oil production, which corresponds to nearly two million barrels a day.

The Aramco attack ignited fears of supply disruption around the world and has sent crude prices soaring by double digits.

Gatchalian noted that the attack on Aramco eliminated about 5 percent of global oil supply and triggered a 12 percent increase in oil prices on September 16, which is reportedly the biggest jump since the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis.

According to the senator, as of last June, 99.9 percent of crude oil in the Philippines was imported, with 12 percent of the country's supply coming from Saudi Arabia.

This attack on Saudi Aramco and the brewing conflict in the region raises concerns on the availability of supply and its effect on oil prices in the Philippines, specifically in the transportation and power generation sectors, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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