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Phoenix Petroleum, a bright spot for independent oil players in the Philippines

Phoenix Petroleum’s exponential growth is a classic example of independent oil players’ success in the Philippines.

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From a Davao City-based family business of five fuel stations in 2005, the first independent oil company to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange has now a network of 518 retail stations present nationwide, providing fuel and non-fuel services such as convenience stores, fast food, car repair, and Clean and Cool restrooms.

In addition, its business covers the trading of refined petroleum products and lubricants to retail and commercial channels, operation of oil depots, storage and transport services. Its integrated logistic services include hauling and into-plane services of Jet-A1 fuels to airports and airlines and refueling of aircraft in key cities.

The company has recently expanded into the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market with the $126-million acquisition of Petronas’s LPG business in the Philippines.

Phoenix, together with 21 other “small” industry players, has captured 39.7 percent of market share currently dominated by the so-called “Big Three”. 

The “Big Three” are the three major oil players in the country namely Petron Corp. (30.4 percent market share), Pilipinas Shell Petroleum (23 percent), and Chevron Phils, the company behind the Caltex brand, (6.9 percent).

With the passage of Downstream Oil Deregulation law in 1998, the market has since then been liberalized and has contributed to the growth of other industry players and their market share from 3% to a target of 50 percent in five years.

The 2016 data of Department of Energy revealed that another fuel retailer, Seaoil, has already a 5.1 percent market share, followed by Phoenix with 4.7 percent, and Unioil with 3.6 percent.

Other players which could reach up to 150 sites include PTT Philippines Corp., Total Phils., TWA, Liquigaz (subsidiary of SHV Energy), Petronas, Prycegas, Micro Dragon, Isla LPG Corp., Jetti, Eastern Petroleum Corp., Perdido, SL Harbour, Filoil Energy Co., Petrotrade Phils. Inc., Marubeni, JS Union, JS Phils Corp, and South Pacific, according to a Philippine Star report.

“Our objective is to grow top line and bottom, not just bottom. It will be better than last year. I am not talking about percentages. I am talking about absolute numbers. We would like to grow as much as we can," said Chief Operating Officer Henry Albert "Bong" Fadullon during an interview in Taguig on September 20, 2017. 

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