United Kingdom-based The Shell Petroleum Co Ltd, a holding company of oil Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Arabia-based Aramco Overseas Co BV have repatriated a total of P25.1 billion in profits since 1996 from their local oil refining and retail operations, former Sen. Ernesto Herrera, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines general secretary, said.
Herrera said Shell Petroleum, which owns 67% of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp pumped out of the Philippines a total of P17.8 billion in profits from 1996 to 2007.
Aramco, which owned 40% of Petron Corp until last month, drew out of the Philippines a total of P7.3 billion in profits over the same period. He added that Aramco recently sold its entire stake in Petron to London-based Ashmore Group Plc.
Ashmore’s SEA Refinery Holdings BV also acquired another 11% of Petron from small shareholders.
Together, Shell and Petron dominate the local market for petroleum products, with a combined 70% share.
Herrera said his figures were based on a review of the balance sheets filed by Pilipinas Shell and Petron with regulators.
During the nine-year period, Herrera said Pilipinas Shell distributed by way of cash dividends to shareholders a total of P26.53 billion in profits, of which 67% or P17.8 billion was remitted to its parent firm based in England.
He said Petron distributed by way of cash dividends to shareholders a total of P18.14 billion, of which 40% or P7.3 billion went to Aramco.
Herrera said the P25.1 billion in combined profits that Shell and Aramco siphoned out of the country could have easily generated more than 85,000 new jobs had the money been kept here and reinvested in productive economic activities.
“Otherwise, the country could have also benefited enormously had some of the money been reinvested back in the business, particularly in the development and production of alternative, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro or geothermal energy projects,” he pointed out.
“These alternative energy sources are not only cleaner and safer for the environment, but also reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Herrera added.
Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas previously bared that Pilipinas Shell and Petron netted nearly P70 billion in cumulative profits in the first 10 years of oil deregulation.
He said the two firms realised the bulk of their profits in the last three-years, as they enjoyed massive powers to command pump prices due to highly volatile crude oil prices that have more than tripled.
Gullas and Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez earlier filed two separate resolutions urging the House committee on energy to investigate and report the facts relating to any oil price manipulation or similar abuses committed by any person or corporation.