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Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 Independent Review Committee June 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 Independent Review Committee June 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 Independent Review Committee June 2005

2 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)?

3 Purpose of the IRC To answer questions such as: Why were increases in oil prices very frequent? Why didnt 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?

4 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?

5 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.

6 Procedure Followed The IRC sought facts on which to base recommendations: 1. Learn about the industry through data gathering. 2. Interview oil players and stakeholders. 3. Analyze data and make conclusions. 4. Submit recommendations based on conclusions.

7 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.

8 State Policy (RA No. 8479) This is broken down into three main topics: Prices and their movement Competition Enforcement

9 PRICES Pricing, Price Movement and Subsidy

10 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?

11 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).

12 On Prices The Philippines imports practically all our oil requirements because our own TOTAL PRODUCTION is less than one half of the countrys needs for half a day. Any changes in international oil prices directly affect pump prices.

13 On Prices What do we pay for at the pump price for Gasoline Diesel Kerosene LPG

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18 On Prices Lets 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.

19 Gasoline RegulatedTheoretical Deregulated Oil Company Take23%P2.6716%P5.74 Others Crude Cost % %35.90 Actual Deregulated Price 31.18

20 Diesel RegulatedTheoretical Deregulated Oil Company Take24%P1.949%P2.63 Others Crude Cost % %29.30 Actual Deregulated Price 27.31

21 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.

22 On Prices There are two ways that prices could be reduced: 1. Ask oil companies to reduce prices 2. Provide subsidy.

23 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

24 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

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27 YearRate % % % % % % % Average6.97% 91-day T-bill rate

28 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.

29 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 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.

30 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.

31 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.

32 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?

33 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

34 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.

35 On Prices If we accept for arguments sake that the oil players were not overcharging: Why were increases in oil prices very frequent? Why didnt they reduce prices right away when there was a decrease in international crude prices?

36 DOEs price monitor shows that the local oil companies are not able to adjust their prices as fast as MOPS.

37 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 For the refiners, their raw material cost went up faster than their selling price.

38 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.

39 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.

40 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.

41 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.

42 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.

43 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).

44 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.

45 On Prices: Recommendations On Pricing: The DOE, working though the governments 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.

46 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).

47 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. Medias influence in shaping collective judgments cannot be denied and towards this, helping them acquire the proper fundamentals would be very helpful.

48 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.

49 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.

50 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 DOEs.

51 COMPETITION

52 On Competition Did the Oil Deregulation Law actually encourage competition? Did competition bring about lower prices?

53 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.

54 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.

55 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.

56 On Competition LPG industry has polarized large players against independents on issues such as: Cylinder ownership Under-filling Safety standard compliance

57 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.

58 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.

59 ENFORCEMENT

60 On Enforcement Are there disorders in the deregulated regime that need to be addressed? Why cant the DOE seem to fix identified problems in the industry such as substandard service stations and those in the LPG industry?

61 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

62 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 DOEs Revised Schedule of Penalties for the LPG Industry.

63 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.

64 On Enforcement: LPG Addressing DOEs 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.

65 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.

66 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.

67 On Enforcement: Service Stations Illegal & substandard stations compete unfairly with legitimate players. Illegal & unsafe practices are due to DOEs 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.

68 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.

69 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.

70 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.

71 In Summary Do not change the Policy of the State.

72 Report on the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998 Independent Review Committee June 2005


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