The Philippines Does Not Have Enough Oil Reserve


The passionately growing country is heavily dependent on oil imports

Four days ago, Bloomberg reported that the Philippines has cemented its position as one of the fastest-expanding in the world.

According to the latest report from the Philippines’ Department of Energy, part of the executive branch where the President resides, the country has a crude oil and petroleum products inventory supply of 24.9 million oil barrels that could last the country for about 56 days, as of June 2017. This is actually 24.6% higher than the same period last year, which we could consider, an improvement?

Nonetheless, crude oil reserves in the Philippines, with a country of 103 million people, has been left unchanged at about 100 million barrels in the nearly recent decade (2006-2015), according to data and statistics website IndexMundi.

Meanwhile, Malaysia, with a population of 31 million people, has 4 billion in reserves; Thailand, made up of 69 million people, has 500 million in reserves.

This certainly means that the Philippines mostly rely on imports to help feed Filipinos’ car engines and other oil-dependent machinery.

As of June 2017, the Philippines’ Department of Energy specifically stated that 34.9% of its crude oil supply was from Saudi Arabia, 28.4% from Kuwait, and 15.6% from the United Arab Emirates. Russia also supplied another 7.8% while Qatar formed 5.6%.

Brought by this certain arrangement, the Philippines (like most other net oil importer countries) is unavoidably exposed to any wild fluctuations in oil price.

On the other hand, plenty of proven reserves does not mean automatic panacea for a country. Just look at Venezuela. Unfortunately, political upheaval and oil price crash in recent years brought its citizens to starvation and destruction.

How about those gas guzzlers?

Interestingly, car registration in the Philippines totaled 104 thousand as of 2013, according to official data gathering website Trading Economics. Malaysia had 102 thousand registered cars, and Thailand had 35 thousand as of August 2017.

Nonetheless, the Philippine President Duterte’s order of 30-day government-matter processing should help propagate the endless bureaucratic red tape that engulfs the nation.

Who knows, some big oil discovery may just pop out somewhere out of the country’s 7,000 plus islands.


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