Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel urged Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. to keep itself listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the difficulties caused to business by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We hope that Shell will stay listed, for the sake of its minority shareholders, especially those who bought into the company’s initial public offering (IPO),” said Pimentel, a former deputy speaker.
Shell closed down for good its 110,000-barrel per day oil refinery in Batangas City last August amid the pandemic. The 58-year-old facility has since been converted into an oil import terminal.
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) owns 15,823,930 shares in Shell while the Social Security System (SSS) holds another 7,764,300 shares, Pimentel said.
Shell currently supplies 20 percent of the local market for petroleum products, according to the Department of Energy (DoE).
The Mindanao solon noted that Shell’s competition, Petron, has also suspended the operations of its 180,000-barrel per day oil refinery in Limay, Bataan to minimize losses due to deteriorating margins.
Shell and Petron have found it more profitable to import ready-to-use petroleum products into the country, instead of refining crude oil into diesel, gasoline, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, jet fuel, fuel oil and kerosene, among others.
Pimentel earlier sought a congressional inquiry into the impact of the decommissioning of the two oil refineries on the country’s long-term energy security.