Energy dep’t signs agreement with Japanese firm to update oil contingency plan

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has signed a memorandum of agreement with a Japanese company to update the Philippines’ oil contingency plan and propose measures that will lead to the establishment of a strategic petroleum reserve.

The deal was signed by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tetsuhiro Hosono in a virtual ceremony Wednesday.

Under the deal, JOGMEC will project the supply and demand situation for petroleum products in the Philippines, evaluate the capacity of crude oil and fuel-product storage facilities, and analyze the obstacles to responding to potential oil supply disruptions.

“Two months after the completion of the study, JOGMEC will submit to the DoE its final output, an updated 2002 Philippine National Oil Contingency Plan, and all its corresponding relevant data and information. It will likewise provide relevant recommendations on the creation and operation of the Philippine Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program,” the DoE said in a statement.

Mr. Cusi said Japan is committed to help the country succeed in achieving energy security.

“Updating our Oil Contingency Plan would provide us with current and deeper insights into how we can better secure our national fuel supply, especially during severe interruptions,” he said.

The oil contingency plan will seek to ensure the continuous flow of the oil supply chain in case of any contingency.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cusi also said establishing and operating a strategic petroleum reserve is a reliable way to secure supply during emergencies.

In October, the Philippine National Oil Company said that its feasibility study on establishing a strategic petroleum reserve was delayed due to the pandemic.

The DoE has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Tokyo-based company Hydrogen Technology, Inc. to explore the use of hydrogen in generating power. Mr. Cusi has said the deal will accelerate research and development towards adopting hydrogen power. — Angelica Y. Yang

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