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Diesel up by 95c; gas down by 70c

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The country’s oil firms raised kerosene and diesel prices by P1.05 per liter and P0.95 per liter, respectively, but cut gasoline prices by P0.70 per liter to reflect the movement of world oil prices.

The price adjustment took effect starting 6 a.m. Tuesday.

“Petron will implement the following price adjustments effective 6 a.m. Feb. 9: Rollback of P0.70 per liter for gasoline and an increase of P0.95 per liter for diesel and P1.05 per liter for kerosene. These reflect movements in the international oil market,” Petron Corp. said.

Petron, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., PTT Philippines and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines issued their respective price advisories.

“Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the price of diesel by P0.95 per liter and decrease the price of gasoline by P0.70 per liter effective 6 a.m. Feb. 9,” the company said.

The Energy Department’s latest oil price monitoring showed that crude oil prices recovered after the United States faced a patch of extreme cold weather increasing demand for heating.

Hopes for more economic stimulus measures for Europe also fueled the upward movement of oil prices.

Oil prices also surged on speculation that Russian and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might work together to stabilize markets through coordinated production cuts.

Russia’s energy minister said that the country would consider a proposal of a five percent production cut, but would wait to discuss the option with Opec in February. Opec officials, however, dismissed the speculation.

Supplies from across the Asian region, meanwhile, reportedly remain ample despite stable demand.

Last week, the Energy Department proposed an oil stockpile that can serve as buffer when oil prices suddenly go up in the world market.

The oil companies raised pump prices by P1.20 per liter for kerosene, P1.05 per liter for diesel and P0.45 per liter for gasoline last Feb. 2.

Energy Department director for Oil Industry Management Bureau Melita Obillo earlier said having an oil stockpile “is good at this time since prices are low.”

“It can be the oil companies but it would be better if the government, if it has the money [to put up the stockpile],” the official said.

The idea of an oil stockpile or strategic oil reserve has long been raised by the government.

President Benigno Aquino III raised the possibility of an oil stockpile in 2011 “for the country’s use in time of extraordinary need” but plans did not push through.

The International Energy Agency had warned that warm weather and rising supply will keep the crude market oversupplied until at least late 2016.

“While the pace of stock-building eases in the second half of the year as supply from non-Opec producers falls, unless something changes, the oil market could drown in oversupply,” the IEA said.


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