DOE assures enough local oil supply after Saudi attack

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — Local oil supply remains sufficient despite possible supply problems which could stem from attacks in Saudi Arabia's production facilities on Saturday, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

Rodela Romero, assistant director at the DOE's Oil Industry Management Bureau, said the impact of the drone strikes on Saudi Aramco’s oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais this weekend has not been felt yet. She added that there is enough supply held by local oil firms for now, amid supply woes following the strikes which targeted one of the world's biggest oil producers.

"Base sa monitoring natin, may enough minimum inventory requirement po sila base sa report nila," Romero told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon. "More than the minimum inventory requirement po ang ating supply na nasa bansa."

[Translation: Based on our monitoring, oil firms have enough minimum inventory requirement according to their reports. Local supply is higher than the minimum inventory requirement.]

Based on DOE rules, oil refineries are required to keep stock equivalent to 30 days' worth of consumption. Bulk importers must maintain a 15-day reserve, while suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas need a seven-day inventory.

READ: What the attacks on Saudi Aramco mean for oil prices

The agency convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss domestic supply levels, with Romero saying that the market will only start reacting to the Saudi attacks this week as trading for the commodity resumes.

Romero said the DOE is set to meet representatives of local oil companies within the week to assess the situation, but said that initial reports showed there's enough supply for now. She clarified, however, that the hikes in retail pump prices set to kick in Tuesday are not yet due to the Saudi attack.

Yemen's Houthi rebels took responsibility for the attack, but the United States government pinned the blame on Iran.

READ: Trump says US 'locked and loaded depending on verification' of attack on Saudi oil field

The strikes on Saudi Arabia's key oil facilities disrupted about half the kingdom's oil capacity, or 5 percent of the daily global supply. Saudi Arabia supplies about 9.8 million barrels of oil per day, but Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that 5.7 million barrels of crude oil and gas have been affected by the strikes. A report from CNN said international oil prices surged on Sunday.

"Ang Saudi ay isa sa mga top producer ng crude. Kung merong problema sa producer, definitely apektado lahat ng kumukuha doon [Saudi is one of the top producers of crude. If they run into problems, definitely everyone who gets their supply from Saudi will be affected]," Romero said. She clarified that the Philippines only sources 12.2 percent of its petroleum needs from the kingdom.

Based on DOE data, one-third of the country's oil supply comes from the United Arab Emirates, while about 26 percent is sourced from Kuwait.