MANILA – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Japanese firm Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to kick off study on the oil contingency plan and petroleum reserve program.
The signing was led by DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi and JOGMEC chairman and chief executive officer Tetsuhiro Hosono.
Under the MOA, the JOGMEC will conduct a study to update the 2002 Philippine National Oil Contingency Plan and provide recommendations on the creation and operation of a Strategic Petroleum (SPR) Program.
“Today’s signing speaks volumes on Japan’s commitment to help the Philippines succeed in attaining its energy security goals. I take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Japanese government and its private sector for helping us attain our long-term goals,” Cusi said.
He said the study aims to better secure the country’s fuel supply especially during severe interruptions.
“This is particularly important, a national security matter even, given that our country is an oil and petroleum product importer with very limited indigenous supply capability,” he added.
Among the focus of the study include the analysis of supply and demand situation of international and national petroleum products and prospects for the next 20 years, Philippine government-owned and privately-owned crude oil and finished petroleum products’ storage facilities in the past five years, and the expected growth for the next two decades.
It will also study the international strategic petroleum reserve program situation in the past five years to address supply disruptions.
The DOE and JOGMEC partnership likewise aims to study existing international oil supply security agreements in Asean and other regions, and seek potential opportunities for the country to participate.
It also targets to examine existing Philippine policies, gaps in government-owned and private petroleum products’ storage facilities, as well as the role of the DOE, the Philippine National Oil Company and other relevant government agencies in addressing the national petroleum products’ contingency and emergency supply strategies and measures.
“We have been proactively seeking all potential ways to ensure the availability of sufficient energy supply, most especially in the face of local or global disruptions such as geopolitical movements, global market volatilities, and more recently, this Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) health crisis,” the DOE chief said. Kris Crismundo / PNA – northboundasia.com