Minimum inventory for oil firms set

Reuters

Posted at Mar 02 2011 02:38 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2011 07:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy said on Wednesday it is reimposing a minimum fuel inventory requirement for oil companies and bulk suppliers to ensure stable supply in the country with escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras has issued a circular requiring oil firms to maintain a minimum stock equivalent to 15 days supply of petroleum products.

For liquefied petroleum gas, the minimum inventory level shall be kept at 7 days supply, said the circular published in a local daily on Wednesday.

Oil refiners are required to maintain a minimum inventory of 30 days supply of petroleum crude oil and refined petroleum products.

A similar rule was issued in January 2003 but relaxed two months after when crude prices in the world market softened and the country was left with high inventory levels.

"The current political and civil unrest in several countries in the Middle East requires the reinstatement of the minimum inventory requirements to ensure stability in the supply of petroleum crude oil and petroleum products in the Philippines," Almendras said in the circular issued Feb. 28.

Rising crude prices in world markets have prompted local oil firms to jack up their pump prices, and the Energy department has warned the public of more price hikes in the coming days.