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DoE blames global situation for increase in petroleum prices

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Department of Energy (DoE)

THE Department of Energy (DoE) on Tuesday blamed the “current global situation” for the rise in petroleum prices as it reassured the public that the agency and energy firms are taking steps to ease the effects on consumers.

In a statement, the DoE said international political and economic factors were at play to drive higher the prices of oil and other petroleum products.

“US exit from the Iran nuclear deal was accompanied by its re-imposition of economic sanctions on Iran, including those related to oil,” it said.

The agency also pointed to “political and economic instability in Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves and is considered one of the largest oil exporters in the West.”

Another factor is the “lack of clear commitment from oil producing countries for an actual production increase to replace expected supply constraints.”

“Global oil prices also tend to go up in the winter months (October-March), as demand for heating is at its highest,” it added.

The DoE said that even before world petroleum prices started to rise, the “energy family” had been “relentless in working out ways to help our most vulnerable sectors such as transport groups.”

It said public utility vehicles had been able to avail of fuel discounts through the continued expanding partnership of the DoE with oil companies.

An attached agency — the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. — had been asked to look into importing low-cost diesel “to augment supply and offer a more affordable fuel option to our public transportation sector.”

“Using fuel wisely is one easy way for us to immediately cope with current fuel costs. We have launched a strengthened information campaign on fuel saving tips. These helpful suggestions and strategies on maximizing fuel efficiency would save us time, money and help our environment,” the DoE said.

“For example, planning one errand day for the entire family is a creative way which allows us to spend more time with our loved ones, while decreasing the number of trips we need to make,” it added.

On Tuesday, local oil companies raised the prices of diesel products by P1.45 per liter, the biggest increase they had imposed so far this year and the eighth week of price hikes since early August.

Gasoline products also rose by P1 per liter, the ninth straight week of increase. Kerosene prices increased by P1.35 per liter.

Last week, the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene products rose by P1.00, P1.35 and P1.10 per liter, respectively. — V.V.Saulon