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Fuel price rollback under P1 seen next week on weak oil trade.

Byline: Riza T. Olchondra

MANILA -- Motorists could be enjoying petroleum price rollbacks next week if the weak oil trade experienced earlier this week continues into Friday, according to an industry official.

"The average for the last three days has been lower than last week. So hopefully next weekif the trend continueshopefully it will be lower," Shell Phil. chair Edgar O. Chua said on the sidelines of the company's Powering Progress Together forum at the Manila Hotel.

Chua said that finished products were lower by more than $1 per barrel. However, the impact on next week's prices would still depend on the weekonweek average, that is, the trading until the end of Friday must be lower so that a rollback could be feasible next week.

Speculation is rife that there could be a rollback next week in the prices of gasoline and diesel products, possibly by less than P1 per liter.

Chua declined to confirm or deny such speculation. He said it would depend on the trades for Thursday and Friday if there could be a rollback and by how much. "It's market forces," he said.

Pandacan depot

Meanwhile, Shell has said that it was appealing a local court decision that could result in its Pandacan depot being closed down.

"We filed an MR (motion for reconsideration) with the Supreme Court (on Jan. 5) because we are coming from the view that Pandacan is safe," Chua said.

If Shell loses, Chua said it will shut down the facility.

He said the company will not relocate the facility so the workers at the Pandacan depot will be jobless.

Relocating would be a major expense and there are not many sites where Shell can transfer to, he said. He reiterated Shell's stand that its facility was safe and that it would be the first to close the facility if it were unsafe.

Another oil major, Petron Corp., said it had long been preparing for the transfer of its Pandacan depot and was now ready to stop fuel supply operations at its Pandacan Terminal.

Petron, the country's leading oil refining and marketing company, assured the public the transfer will "not adversely affect fuel prices and supply".

The company made a commitment in 2010 with the Manila government and a group of priests led by the then Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to draw up a business plan and establish alternative sites for its Pandacan fuel storage operations.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 27, 2015
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