Senate asked to probe Covid’s impact on energy

By Alena Mae S. Flores – May 10, 2020 at 07:50 pm

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked for an inquiry on the effects of the coronavirus disease pandemic on the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas sectors.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy, said the move would determine the measures that the government should implement to ensure the country’s energy security.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

The lawmaker filed Senate Resolution No. 389, days after the Energy Department announced that at least 10 percent or 900 oil stations of the 9,003 service stations nationwide already suspended operations since the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. also said it shut down its 110,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Batangas for a month starting mid-May to preserve cash amid the negative margins brought about by low demand.

“Since the country is mainly dependent on imported fuel, Congress has to know about the short, medium and long-term effects and implications of Covid-19 on the oil and gas industry, in particular, the status of oil and gas exploration projects towards energy security,” Gatchalian said.