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The Manila Times: Oil firms to increase prices by P0.50/liter on August 2

The Manila Times: Oil firms to increase prices by P0.50/liter on August 2

“Shell’s general manager… said that the upward movement in local oil prices is due to the continued political, peace and order, and security tensions in the Middle East, which include the sabotage to Iraq’s oil infrastructure.”

By Paul Anthony A. Isla , Reporter

Sunday 1 August 04

CONSUMERS are expected to be burdened with higher oil prices as local pump prices of fuel are expected to increase anew by next week.

On Saturday, Caltex (Philippines) Inc., Eastern Petroleum Corp., Flying V, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Seaoil Philippines Inc. announced that they would be increasing oil prices by 50 centavos a litre for gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

The latest round of oil price hikes would take effect midnight of Sunday (August 2), except for Flying V, which is set to raise its own prices by midnight of Monday (August 3).

Local oil refiner Petron Corp. has yet to announce if it would follow suit and when.

Oil firms attributed the latest oil price hike to the continuous increase in international prices of finished petroleum products that have reached a fresh 21-year high.

Early this week, finished petroleum product prices at the Mean of Platts Singapore rose to about $47.95 a barrel from last month’s average of about $45.20 a barrel for unleaded gasoline.

Diesel also rose to $49 a barrel from about $42.80 a barrel last month.

Oil benchmark Dubai crude, on the other hand, traded at $35.24 a barrel from last month’s average of $33.43 a barrel.

In a phone interview, Eastern Petroleum chair and chief executive Fernando L. Martinez said that the latest round of increase could be the first of a series of price hikes within August.

“This is because the latest oil price would not be enough for us to be able to recover our under-recoveries during the previous months,” Martinez said.

Still, Martinez assured the public that they would continue to monitor and assess oil price trends in the world market. He also said they hope that international oil prices would drop within the next month.

Shell’s general manager for Corporate Affairs Bobby S. Kanapi said that the upward movement in local oil prices is due to the continued political, peace and order, and security tensions in the Middle East, which include the sabotage to Iraq’s oil infrastructure.

Kanapi also blamed the increase on the Russian government’s directive to oil firm Yukos not to dispose of its assets including crude oil. Kanapi said this has also put an upward pressure on world crude oil prices.

Yukos accounts for almost 20 percent of Russian crude oil production and is considered the world’s second largest producer of crude after Saudi Arabia.

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