High oil prices seen to persist until end of 2023

By Kris Crismundo

August 22, 2023, 8:14 pm

<p><em>File photo</em></p>

File photo

MANILA – A Department of Energy (DOE) official on Tuesday said oil price hikes are expected to continue until the end of the year.

During the Laging Handa public briefing, Oil Industry Management Bureau Director Rino Abad said tighter supply has boosted global oil prices, with the output cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Abad said the global market has oil shortage of around one million barrels a day since June.

“So, the projection of S&P Global Platts (is that) high oil prices will continue from July until December,” he said in Filipino. “The only chance that prices will go down is when demand slows down. Unfortunately, during ‘ber’ months, these are the months when demand increases.”

Abad said since local players hiked oil prices in nearly two months, the common pump price for gasoline is currently at PHP73 per liter, PHP67 per liter for diesel, and around PHP79 to PHP80 per liter for kerosene.

He said the agency is reviewing the joint memorandum circular to implement the Pantawid Pasada Program, wherein Congress allotted PHP3 billion for this year.

“(A)side from the government subsidy through LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) (and) DOTr (Department of Transportation), we have promo programs from the private sector --that’s reduction in price per liter from PHP2 to probably as high as PHP4 per liter,” he added.

In the long term, the government is pushing for exploring indigenous energy resources for the country not to depend on oil imports.

“The Department of Energy continues to explore —we already have agreements,” he said citing possible oil resources in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the West Philippine Sea.

Likewise, shifting to electric vehicles will help reduce demand for oil, Abad said. (PNA)