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DOE calls for energy conservation amid Mideast tension

/ 04:54 AM January 08, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday reiterated its call to the public to conserve energy and use resources efficiently amid expectations by Moody’s Investor Service of high volatility in oil prices this year due to sluggish demand and rising tensions in the Middle East.

“[We are] closely monitoring unfolding developments brought about by the recent Iran incident, especially since it may potentially propel sharp movements in global oil prices, supply levels, or both,” the DOE said in a statement.

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The agency was referring to the assassination of Iran’s top general by the United States, which caused a spike in crude oil prices.

The Asian bellwether Dubai crude surged to $66.89 per barrel on Jan. 3, hours after the Pentagon announced the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani. Before the announcement, on Jan. 2, Dubai was priced $64.89 per barrel.

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Brent crude, the global benchmark, breached $70 during trading on Monday from $66.25 per barrel on Jan. 2 before easing to $68.20 on Jan. 7.

“[We] emphasize the urgency of fully implementing energy conservation and efficiency programs,” the DOE said. “In this regard, we continue to appeal to the public to adopt an energy efficient lifestyle, and explore measures such as carpooling, walking to short distances or using energy efficient appliances.”

The department also called for a shift to electric-powered from gasoline-fed vehicles, which “would not only help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but also help decrease the country’s dependence on oil.”

In a report, Moody’s said rising production in 2020 will outpace growth in demand for oil amid a cyclical economic slowdown in several large industrial countries.“(S)hort-term supply adjustments and rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East will heighten volatility,” it added.—Ronnel W. Domingo

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TAGS: DoE, energy conservation, Mideast conflict, US-Iran conflict
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