PNOC ne­go­ti­at­ing for higher Petron lease pay­ments

Manila Bulletin - - Business News - By MYRNA M. VE­LASCO

State-run Philip­pine Na­tional Oil Com­pany (PNOC) is ne­go­ti­at­ing for higher lease pay­ments for the ar­ray of prop­er­ties be­ing rented out to lead­ing oil firm Petron Cor­po­ra­tion.

PNOC Pres­i­dent Reuben S. Lista in­di­cated that for the 4.3 hectares be­ing leased to Petron for its oil facilities at the govern­ment-com­pany’s Mabini prop­erty in Batan­gas, lease pay­ments had just been pegged at R475,000 an­nu­ally – ap­par­ently a los­ing propo­si­tion for the State.

The state-run firm is sim­i­larly de­mand­ing from Petron back rentals from 2008 to 2016 of R1.44 mil­lion for the use of a pipe­line stretch­ing from its pier to its pe­tro­leum facilities at the PNOCowned Mabini real es­tate.

Be­yond the Mabini prop­erty, PNOC noted that Petron is also un­der lease for roughly 120 lots it owns – part of th­ese would be sites for 68 gaso­line sta­tions plus de­pots and bulk ter­mi­nals in La Union (Rosario, Bac­no­tan and San Fer­nando), Iloilo and Cebu, among oth­ers.

On the Mabini lot, Lista noted that the lease agree­ment will ex­pire Au­gust next year but ne­go­ti­a­tion with Petron al­ready started on whether they would opt for re­newal or not – with dis­cus­sions cen­tered pri­mar­ily that the cost of the for­ward lease ar­range­ment will be “at mar­ket”.

The PNOC chief ex­ec­u­tive noted for the rest of the 11-hectare Mabini land be­ing leased by the com­pany as en­ergy stor­age base (ESB) to other en­ti­ties, it has been earn­ing R130 mil­lion on a yearly ba­sis.

“If Petron gets out of there now, we will make more money … if they are not in­ter­ested any­more, then we will open it up to oth­ers,” Lista said.

He qual­i­fied though that since “Petron needs that, be­cause that it is their base to­wards the other is­lands – I am not also a sabo­teur, so I am giv­ing them the chance.”

Lista said in ini­tial talks with Petron, their com­pany al­ready laid its cards on the table, hence, they are ex­pect­ing the oil firm to make counter-of­fer dur­ing their sched­uled Jan­uary 13 meet­ing.

“Petron is our child – we used to own Petron, but they have to pay me bet­ter… I am happy that they be­came the big­gest, but it is also their turn to help the ‘or­phaned mother’, be­cause ev­ery­thing that we had with them were sweet­heart deals,” he said.

The man­age­ment team of Petron led by its chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Lu­bin B. Ne­po­mu­ceno al­ready paid PNOC cour­tesy visit and that also jump­started dis­cus­sions on their fu­ture lease pacts.

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