With fluctuating oil prices coupled with the drop in demand and weak refining margins, the country’s only two refiners – Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation and Petron Corporation – decided to close down their refineries and import fuel instead.
Shell’s Tabangao refinery in Batangas, which was put up in 1960, has been shut down since May 24 and was permanently closed in August to help insulate the firm from further deterioration of refining margins, and aid in its cash preservation efforts.
On the other hand, Petron’s Bataan refinery will be on economic plant shutdown beginning the second half of January 2021. It will resume commercial operations if the economy and margins improve.
Petron said there would be no supply disruption since it has healthy inventory and it will be importing finished products.
Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said they respect the business decision of the two oil companies to adapt to the existing market and economic situations.