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PETRON VOWS TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT INVENTORY AMID HIGH PRICES, UNREST ABROAD
March 3, 2011
Petron Corporation said that it will maintain sufficient fuel inventory which includes crude oil in transit, crude oil and finished products inland to mitigate any possible local supply shortfall. The company assured the public of a continuous and stable fuel supply despite unrest in oil-producing countries which has driven oil prices to fresh record-highs and has stoked fears of a supply shortage. The company added that it was reviewing operational measures to ensure supply continuity in case of an emergency.
The announcement comes after the Department of Energy issued a circular calling on oil companies to increase its minimum inventories. In the circular, the DOE asked oil importers to carry a minimum inventory of 15 days and 30 days for refiners.
"As a Filipino company, we strongly support government's measures to ensure local fuel supply. Even though maintaining a high inventory is costing Petron a lot, we will do it just to make sure fuel is available. We will cooperate fully with concerned agencies," Petron Chairman and CEO Ramon S. Ang said. "As an oil importer, we have no control over oil prices, but we are working closely with our international suppliers to guarantee crude oil supply for the country."
"International oil prices will inevitably drop once unrest in oil-producing countries is resolved. Even if fuel prices begin to drop, we will maintain our current inventory level so that we have enough in case conflicts starts in other countries that may impact on the supply situation," Mr. Ang added.
For the month of February, the benchmark Dubai crude averaged over $100/barrel from only $92.52/barrel in January hitting a two year and a half high of nearly $112/barrel on February 24. Finished product prices also surged following the significant increase in crude prices. Gasoline (RON 95) averaged $112/barrel last month versus $106/barrel in January reaching as high as $123/barrel. Diesel prices, meanwhile, averaged $119/barrel last month jumping nearly $10/barrel from January.
The company said that it has measures in place to soften the impact of high fuel prices including diesel discounts to the public transport in over 150 Petron service stations nationwide.