Oil firms hike prices after a series of rollbacks

MANILA — After four weeks of rollbacks, motorists and consumers are in for another round of increases in petroleum products.

In a press conference held today at the Department of Energy (DOE), Assistant Director Del Romero of the Oil Industry Management Bureau (OIMB) explained the factors that will likely affect the trend in the next four weeks.

Romero cited that refinery maintenance in Asia which started last April ended only last June. She also cited that drilling operations in the United States have lessened and the recent hurricane “Cindy” have caused a slowdown in oil production.

The upcoming summer season is also likely to increase gasoline demand particularly in the United States beginning with the 4th of July celebrations where people mostly travel by land.

In the Middle East, the Ramadhan has also resulted in a large drawdown of oil stocks in the inventory.

Meanwhile, the demand for petroleum products is also increasing in the Asian region particularly in Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka and China.

Romero said that despite the movements in the international oil market, there are other factors which can affect an increase or decrease in fuel prices. For one, the weakening of the US dollar is one of the reasons for an upward tick in prices of petroleum products.

However, Romero indicated that the forecast shows a downward trend although it is hard to determine up to when this trend will continue since a lot of the movements are actually caused by speculations and even while Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut down of their oil production.

Consequently, Romero indicated that only the price of finished petroleum products are affected since the Philippines has an oversupply of crude oil and it is only a matter of getting our refineries back online.

As a result, oil companies have announced their new pump prices to take effect at 6 a.m. of Tuesday, July 4.

Shell, PTT, Flying V and Total will implement an increase in gasoline prices by P0.30 per liter, diesel by P0.70 per liter and kerosene by P0.55 per liter.

Phoenix announced a P0.30 per liter increase for their Premium 98, Premium 95 and Regular 93 and P0.70 per liter for diesel products.

SEAOIL on the other hand increased pump prices for Extreme 97, Extreme 95 and Unleaded 91 by P0.30 per liter and an increase of P0.70 for Exceed diesel. AAA/PNA-northboundasia.com