‘Oil spike to cut PH deeply’
Locsin warning triggers emergency meeting of energy officials
“This is serious. It will… affect us deeply,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Monday after the Iranian-backed Huthi group in Yemen launched drone attacks on the Abqaiq oil facility, the heart of the Saudi oil industry on Saturday. “So everybody shut the f*** up and focus. No more clowns. Declaring state of emergency won’t save our economy but kill it,” the country’s top diplomat warned in his Twitter account. The Energy department will meet with oil industry officials this week to look into the sufficiency of inventory levels after the drone attacks. “We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said. “Rest assured that the DOE… is closely monitoring the situation, and will keep the public properly informed of developments.” The stock market closed virtually flat Monday in cautious trading, as investors weighed the new tension in the Middle East. Cusi convened an emergency meeting Sunday with the DOE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau and Oil Industry Management Bureau; the National Electrification Administration, the National Power Corp., Philippine National Oil Co. and PNOC Exploration Corp. at the Energy department’s headquarters in Taguig City. “It is premature at this moment to say that the Saudi Aramco incident would have an adverse impact on the country. The DOE is closely monitoring developments in the international markets until the last trading day on Friday to fully assess any impact on the prices,” the DOE said. Any adverse impact, it added, would be felt by Tuesday next week. The country’s biggest oil firm Petron Corp. said there would be no supply disruption from its end. “We have adequate supply to support our domestic requirements,” a company statement said. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., the country’s second biggest oil company, said it was monitoring the developments in Saudi Arabia and the world markets, and said it would exert all efforts to ensure a continuous supply of fuel.