THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) said Wednesday that it has allotted 18 months for a feasibility study on the proposed Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

In a statement, the DoE said it issued a department circular on Sept. 16 detailing the steps for setting up the SPR.

The circular, which has yet to be published on the DoE website, has identified the DoE and Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) as the lead agencies for setting up a government-owned reserve of crude oil, finished petroleum products and biofuels, which will insulate the Philippines from volatile fuel prices and supply disruptions.

Apart from the feasibility study, the lead agencies’ other deliverables include the creation of standards for signing supply deals for the reserves; maintaining the storage facilities, and managing the inventory, according to Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella.

“This circular (establishing the national SPR) will help bring the country closer to attaining energy security by decreasing our dependence on the importation of crude oil and finished petroleum products to meet our fuel requirements,” Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said.

In March, the PNOC announced the revision of the terms of reference for engaging the project advisor, which will be preparing the detailed feasibility study. 

The PNOC’s other task was to prepare to operate a mobile distribution system for the reserves if warranted by an emergency. — Angelica Y. Yang