Oil player Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp

Oil player Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. expects oil supply to normalize by the middle of next week amid the continuing shutdown of the petroleum pipeline owned by First Philippine Industrial Corp.

Shell, in a statement, said that it was able to sustain the difficult challenges of positioning a mother supply ship off the Pasig River to maximize barging activities of petroleum products to the Pandacan Depot.

“As a result, Shell expects oil supply to normalize by mid-next week. Timely government action, in support of these alternative supply activities at both local and national levels, significantly helped cushion the impact of the pipeline shutdown on the public,” Shell said.

FPIC shut down the pipeline, which delivers the fuel requirements of Shell and Chevron Philippines from Batangas to Manila, upon orders of the Makati City government. FPIC is currently trying to pinpoint the cause of the gas leak which has hounded the Bangkal residents in Makati since July.

“In response to the continued shutdown of the Batangas-Manila petroleum pipeline, which supplies products to its Pandacan Depot, Shell continues to deploy alternative supply arrangements in order to ensure the continuity of supply to its customers in the Metro Manila areas,” Shell said.

An energy official said Shell experienced “tightness in supply” due to the pipeline shutdown but assured that no retail stations were forced to close shop.

Shell lauded the government for their support in cushioning the impact of the pipeline shutdown. These include the support given by the City of Makati and Energy Department to secure alternative supply arrangements; prompt action from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in giving a special permit to allow petroleum lorries to traverse the major thoroughfares from 10 a.m. till 6 a.m., for a period of at least one week; and the Batangas local government for the truck ban exemption given for delivery areas within Batangas.

Shell said the Public Works and Highways and Energy department facilitated discussions between the company and South Luzon Tollways and the Skyway, in order to assess optimisation of travel and turnaround time for the oil firms’s petroleum lorries using the South Luzon highways.

Shell also said that it immediately activated its business contingency plan when the pipeline was shutdown in order to ensure continuity of supply to customers.

“We continue to work closely with FPIC, pipeline owner and operator, to monitor the developments in order to fully assess the impact of the issue on our operations and the publics that we serve. We remain hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon, “ Bobby Kanapi, Shell vice president for communications said earlier.

Chevron, on the other hand, said it is identifying longer-term supply arrangements in anticipation of an extended shutdown of the pipeline.

Chervon also assured of enough fuel supply over the weekend.

“We are looking at putting into place longer-term supply arrangements in order to assure Metro Manila of a reliable and safe supply of fuel to cover for the likelihood of an extended shutdown,” Mark Quebral, Chevron manager for Policy, Government, and Public Affairs said.

The long-term arrangements include barging, tank truck bridging, and alternate supply site sourcing. (PNA)

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