The Department of Energy (DOE) has moved to lessen the country’s dependence on imported crude oil and finished petroleum products with the issuance of a circular that seeks to establish the Philippine Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program (PSPRP).
The agency said on Wednesday that Department Circular 2021-09-0028 “will help bring the country closer to attaining energy security.”
In 2019, the DOE had already directed the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), under DOE Memorandum Order MO2019-11-0001, to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The SPR consists of large stockpiles of crude oil as well as petroleum products, stored in facilities located around the country—and possibly overseas—that are released during periods of local or international oil supply disruptions.
The new DOE circular, meanwhile, serves as the implementing guidelines for the establishment of the PSPRP, with the PNOC and DOE jointly implementing the program.
Through the circular, the DOE seeks to establish a government-owned reserve of crude oil, finished petroleum products and biofuel to be utilized in the event of a severe international supply interruption or to implement the Targeted Fuel Relief Program.
Under the circular, the PNOC is tasked to acquire the necessary storage and blending capacity by construction, lease, or other acquisition options based on the agreed minimum and maximum volume level determined by the feasibility study.
The SPR study will be undertaken within18 months and be approved within two months once received by the DOE.
PNOC will forge supply contracts to secure the necessary volume to attain the objective of PSPRP. It will also be in charge in the distribution-from the transport logistics down to the fuel discharge to the end-consumers.