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Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998. Independent Review Committee June 2005. Purpose of the IRC. To answer questions such as: What is the main cause of the present high level cost of gasoline and other oil products?

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report on the downstream oil industry deregulation act of 1998

Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998

Independent Review Committee

June 2005

purpose of the irc
Purpose of the IRC
  • To answer questions such as:
    • What is the main cause of the present high level cost of gasoline and other oil products?
    • Would the prices be any cheaper if we were under a regulated regime?
    • Could prices be reduced by asking companies to reduce their profits? Or by providing subsidy or a program like the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF)?
purpose of the irc1
Purpose of the IRC
  • To answer questions such as:
    • Why were increases in oil prices very frequent? Why didn’t prices decrease right away where there was a decrease in international crude prices?
    • Why do oil companies seem to raise prices at the same time? Do cartels exist?
purpose of the irc2
Purpose of the IRC
  • To answer questions such as:
    • Did the deregulation law actually encourage competition? Did competition bring about lower prices?
    • Are there disorders in the deregulated regime that need to be addressed?
purpose of the irc3
Purpose of the IRC
  • There was no consensus in comments heard around town:
    • Repeal the law because it is:
      • Unconstitutional
      • The main cause of price hikes.
    • Nationalize the industry and provide subsidies.
    • The law is fine but just need some tweaks.
procedure followed
Procedure Followed
  • The IRC sought facts on which to base recommendations:
    • Learn about the industry through data gathering.
    • Interview oil players and stakeholders.
    • Analyze data and make conclusions.
    • Submit recommendations based on conclusions.
state policy ra no 8479
State Policy (RA No. 8479)
  • To liberalize and deregulate the downstream oil industry in order to:
    • Ensure a truly competitive market
    • Under a regime of fair prices.
  • To introduce adequate measures to assure the attainment of these goals.
state policy ra no 84791
State Policy (RA No. 8479)
  • This is broken down into three main topics:
    • Prices and their movement
    • Competition
    • Enforcement
prices

PRICES

Pricing, Price Movement and Subsidy

on prices
On Prices
  • What is the main cause of the present high level cost of gasoline and other oil products? Is it the Oil Deregulation Law?
slide11

This shows that peso/dollar rates increased over 200% against the US dollar/

Crude oil prices which increased more than 300%.

Fact: Peso cost of crude component in oil products increased over six times

(forex/crude multiple = 6 times).

on prices1
On Prices
  • The Philippines imports practically all our oil requirements because our own TOTAL PRODUCTION is less than one half of the country’s needs for half a day.
  • Any changes in international oil prices directly affect pump prices.
on prices2
On Prices
  • What do we pay for at the pump price for
    • Gasoline
    • Diesel
    • Kerosene
    • LPG
on prices3
On Prices
  • Let’s analyze the pump prices of gasoline and diesel in terms of pesos using the previous tables after imputing the forex/crude multiple of 6.
  • The information on pump prices is condensed to show only the portion of crude oil cost and company take.
on prices4
On Prices
  • The theoretical prices of oil products are much higher than the actual pump prices.
  • The share of other components have dramatically reduced.
  • Conclusion: Oil product price increases were mainly caused by the peso devaluation and the increase in the world price of Dubai crude; not deregulation.
on prices5
On Prices
  • There are two ways that prices could be reduced:
    • Ask oil companies to reduce prices
    • Provide subsidy.
on prices6
On Prices
  • Are oil companies making too much money?
    • Under the regulated regime, they were guaranteed a fixed rate of return (8% of rate base).
    • Financial statements in the deregulated regime show that most oil players (importers) lost money.
      • Total loss of about P2 billion for Total
      • Total loss of about P5 billion for PTT
on prices7
On Prices
  • Are oil companies making too much money?
    • Only Shell and Petron made some money.
    • Financial data show that the two oil majors make less than the 91-day T-bill rate
on prices8
On Prices
  • What about subsidizing oil prices and instituting something like the OPSF?
    • OPSF was created as a buffer fund to absorb cost increases and minimize frequent price changes.
    • OPSF was wiped out during large spikes in the cost of crude during the Kuwait invasion of Iraq.
    • There was some mismanagement of the fund. Government subsidy reached P15 billion.
on prices9
On Prices
  • What about subsidizing oil prices and instituting something similar to OPSF?
    • If OPSF were continued to this day:
      • Subsidy would be about P18 billion if diesel were pegged at P18.70 when the LTFRB granted fare increases in May 2004.
      • Subsidy would be about P1.5 billion for the first 4 months of the year if the government bore the P1/liter discount for diesel.
on prices10
On Prices
  • What about subsidizing oil prices and instituting something similar to OPSF?
    • There is danger when there are too many players.
    • OPSF is only good when few players exist and are willing to stay in business when they have to contribute to the fund.
    • There are “hit and run” players.
on prices11
On Prices
  • Can the government subsidize oil prices?
    • Subsidy is a system when someone other than the direct user pays a portion of the cost.
    • OPSF was sort of a subsidy but it was eventually wiped out.
on prices12
On Prices
  • Can the government subsidize oil prices?
    • Subsidy in other countries:
      • Indonesia – reached $7 billion
      • Malaysia – reached up to $1.5 billion for diesel
      • Thailand – reached $2 billion for gasoline and diesel; discontinued in June 2005
    • Can the Philippines afford subsidies of this magnitude?
on prices13
On Prices
  • Can the government subsidize oil prices?
    • Subsidy is viewed as unsound fiscal practice – ADB and UNESCAP
    • Subsidy has negative effects as it:
      • Distorts relative prices
      • Discourages fuel conservation and efficiency in transport
      • Encourages overuse of subsidized items
on prices14
On Prices
  • Can the government subsidize oil prices?
  • Conclusion: Subsidizing oil prices (something like the OPSF) does not work in an era of rising crude prices because it would entail government resources that it cannot afford.
on prices15
On Prices
  • If we accept for argument’s sake that the oil players were not overcharging:
    • Why were increases in oil prices very frequent?
    • Why didn’t they reduce prices right away when there was a decrease in international crude prices?
slide36

DOE’s price monitor shows that the local oil

companies are not able to adjust their prices

as fast as MOPS.

slide37

Dubai vs. Local Prices

Dubai benchmark reached 4.35 times its Jan 1998 level, in contrast unleaded gasoline and diesel were about 2.37 and 3.13 times respective in Mark 2005. For the refiners, their raw material cost went up faster than their selling price.

on prices16
On Prices
  • Price Catching Up
    • Small but frequent adjustments.
    • The DOE secretary asked for the cooperation of local oil companies to increase prices on a staggered basis rather than in one big jump.
    • This resulted in weekly P.50 increases on March 7, 15, 19, 27 and April 4.
on prices17
On Prices
  • Parachute Phenomena
    • Since oil companies cannot keep up with price increases, they try to recover when there are price decreases.
  • Conclusion: Frequent price increases resulted from government suasion in spreading major price increases over a longer period.
on prices18
On Prices
  • Why do oil companies seem to raise prices at the same time?
  • Do cartels exist?
    • Nature of the product – interchangeability
    • Competition is involved
    • Market share is the name of the game
  • Basic economics should consider that under these conditions, we should expect prices to go up and down together which is an indication that market forces are working; not necessarily that cartels exist.
on prices19
On Prices
  • Conclusion: When products are interchangeable, when market share is the “name of the game,” and competition is in full swing, we should not be surprised, but rather expect, that oil companies’ prices will seem to rise and fall at the same time.
on prices major conclusions
On Prices: Major Conclusions
  • The main cause of oil price increases was the effect of major peso devaluations and increases in the international price of oil especially since we import practically all our oil product requirements.
  • Subsidy is not a viable solution because it will cost government excessive amounts of money.
  • There is no evidence of price cartels.
on prices recommendations
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • The DOE should not support or initiate any change in the Policy of the State in the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 (RA No. 8479).
on prices recommendations1
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • The DOE should continue to monitor oil prices regularly. The DOE should:
      • Let the public know what it is monitoring and how it is being done;
      • Earn the trust of the public and dispel the impression that it may be acting as spokesperson for the oil companies;
      • Enlist the assistance or cooperation of entities or persons who have credibility and in whom the public can trust for whatever information the DOE wishes to release on its monitoring efforts; and,
      • Be able to persuade oil companies to spread oil increases into smaller price hikes over an extended period and inform the public so that the public understands the reason behind frequent oil price increases.
on prices recommendations2
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • The DOE, working though the government’s representatives in the Petron Board, should continue to urge the Company to act as “price moderator.” In a deregulated market, price is often set by the low cost producer. Petron, being a refiner and a market leader, suits the role. The action of price moderator should not be done just during price rollbacks but also during price increases.
on prices recommendations3
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • Because we are practically 100% dependent on imported oil for our requirements, the DOE should accustom the public that we are now in a regime of high prices. As such, the DOE should continue its efforts to:
      • Encourage exploration and development of indigenous energy resources including oil and gas;
      • Encourage the use of alternative energy sources; and,
      • Promote programs for the conservation of energy and avoidance of wastages in the use of oil products (e.g., stricter enforcement of laws governing colorum vehicles).
on prices recommendations4
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • The DOE should spend some time to educate the media about the basics of the oil industry to provide reporters with a better perspective for news reporting and analysis. Media’s influence in shaping collective judgments cannot be denied and towards this, helping them acquire the proper fundamentals would be very helpful.
on prices recommendations5
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Pricing:
    • It is interesting to note that the land transport group and the sea transport group have different views on oil deregulation. Land transport is still regulated while the latter is deregulated. The DOE should look into a an automatic fare setting mechanism or formula that can adjust fares quickly in response to both increases and decreases in fuel prices.
on prices recommendations6
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Price Movements:
    • While at present there is no hard evidence that cartels exist, the DOE should always be alert that in the future, cartels may be practised and that the DOE should be prepared to prosecute erring companies.
on prices recommendations7
On Prices: Recommendations
  • On Subsidy:
    • The DOE should not propose or support any program that leads to any subsidy. On the other hand, the committee recognizes the need to alleviate the poorest sectors of society and some social action needs to be made. However, this is a function of another branch of government and not the DOE’s.
on competition
On Competition
  • Did the Oil Deregulation Law actually encourage competition?
  • Did competition bring about lower prices?
on competition1
On Competition
  • Deregulation allowed more players to operate in the Philippines.
    • From 3 major oil players, there are now 35 players (many importers).
    • From 3,000 service stations, there are now over 4,000.
    • Proliferation of LPG players.
on competition2
On Competition
  • There have been cases when the actual pump prices were less than what a player would have wanted to charge.
  • It is a fact that none of the new players (importers) is making any profit.
on competition3
On Competition
  • There have been bad effects of competition:
    • Gasoline retail outlets not making sufficient margins.
    • Bad practices like below standard outlets and smuggled products in the market.
on competition4
On Competition
  • LPG industry has polarized large players against independents on issues such as:
    • Cylinder ownership
    • Under-filling
    • Safety standard compliance
on competition conclusions
On Competition: Conclusions
  • Deregulation has increased competition in the industry.
  • There are both positive and negative effects on competition. The effect on lowering prices outweighs other effects.
on competition recommendation
On Competition: Recommendation
  • DOE should continue to foster safe and fair competition in the oil industry so that market forces can work for the benefit of the consumers by checking price increases.
on enforcement
On Enforcement
  • Are there disorders in the deregulated regime that need to be addressed?
  • Why can’t the DOE seem to fix identified problems in the industry such as substandard service stations and those in the LPG industry?
on enforcement lpg
On Enforcement: LPG
  • Unsafe and unfair LPG practices:
    • Tampering of cylinders
    • Unauthorized refilling of LPG cylinders
    • Under-filling
    • Maintenance of illegal retail outlets
    • Illegal repainting of cylinders
    • Fake cylinder and seals
    • Proliferation of unbranded/substandard cylinders, and
    • Pilferage or “Paihi”
on enforcement lpg1
On Enforcement: LPG
  • EO No. 377 watered down the authority of the DOE to monitoring; it cannot suspend or revoke licenses of industry violators.
  • LPG Refillers’ Association is challenging DOE’s Revised Schedule of Penalties for the LPG Industry.
on enforcement lpg2
On Enforcement: LPG
  • Effects of DOE monitoring without authority to revoke:
    • 45% of 5,285 LPG establishments inspected were violating LPG rules and regulations (between August 2000 to March 2005); and,
    • Violators of LPG rules for three consecutive times are recommended for closure to the concerned LGUs. However, implementing the closure depends on the political will of the concerned LGUs.
on enforcement lpg3
On Enforcement: LPG
  • Addressing DOE’s limited powers:
    • Self-policing - LPG Task Force assists in enforcing LPG regulations
    • DOE advocating the passage of the LPG Bill (House Bill No. 2422)
  • Conclusion: The limited powers of the DOE over the LPG industry have permitted illegal, unfair and unsafe practices to go uncorrected.
on enforcement service stations
On Enforcement: Service Stations
  • Under the deregulated regime, the requirements to operate a service station have been relaxed.
  • There has been an increase of about 42% in service stations.
on enforcement service stations1
On Enforcement: Service Stations
  • The problems of the liquid fuels/service stations sector include the:
    • Presence of illegal traders and “mosquito” retailers who have substandard facilities and inferior products.
    • Lack of enforcement of the “Retail Rules” promulgated in 2004 that govern the operation of a gasoline station business.
    • Emergence of the “bote-bote” method of retailing and gasoline stations with unauthorized above ground tanks.
on enforcement service stations2
On Enforcement: Service Stations
  • Illegal & substandard stations compete unfairly with legitimate players.
  • Illegal & unsafe practices are due to DOE’s inability to police, suspend or revoke licenses; left to the political will of respective LGUs
  • Conclusion: The limited powers of the DOE have enabled the illegal, unsafe and unfair practices in the service station sector to continue without being corrected.
on enforcement recommendations
On Enforcement: Recommendations
  • For both LPG and service station sectors:
    • To work for stronger inter-agency cooperation against illegal activities in the sectors.
    • To be more vigilant and organized in the strict, equitable and effective enforcement of regulations.
    • To ensure the personal safety of all inspectors especially in cases where syndicates and persons with strong political/police connections are involved in product pilferage and other illegal operations.
on enforcement recommendations1
On Enforcement: Recommendations
  • For the LPG sector:
    • To formulate, unify and update industry standards on quality, integrity and safety of LPG products, facilities, handling and marketing practices; and,
    • To mount a strong lobby for the immediate passage of an LPG Bill that addresses the needs of the sector.
on enforcement recommendations2
On Enforcement - Recommendations
  • For the service stations sector:
    • To close down illegal and substandard gasoline stations and work more closely with the relevant LGUs concerned.
    • To ensure that effective competition exists in the service station business by discussing with the oil companies:
      • The existence of ruinous competition such as when there are too many service stations located within the same trading area; and,
      • Providing adequate or fair returns to dealers to enable them to survive; non-survival means closure of business and therefore, decrease in competition.
in summary
In Summary
  • Do not change the Policy of the State.
report on the downstream oil industry deregulation act of 19981

Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998

Independent Review Committee

June 2005