The country’s oil companies cut pump prices for the third consecutive week, this time, by as much as P1.10 per liter amid a continuing drop in world oil prices.
Pump prices went down by P1.10 per liter of kerosene, P0.90 to P0.95 per liter of diesel and P0.60 per liter of gasoline. The latest price adjustment resulted in a net reduction in the price of diesel and gasoline by P3.30 and P1.80 per liter, respectively, in January alone.
Eastern Petroleum Corp. slashed prices starting 6 p.m. Monday and the other oil firms followed suit on Tuesday.
Fernando Martinez, Eastern Petroleum Chairman and chief executive officer, said the latest price adjustment reflected the current downward trend of oil prices in the world market.
As of Monday, crude oil was at $32 per barrel as prices continued to be affected by the oil supply surplus in the US and the economic slowdown in China.
“Analysts also believe the long-term price of oil is literally unforecastable, and the only thing that can be said is that oil prices will continue to defy experts’ expectations,” Martinez said.
Aside from Eastern Petroleum, other oil companies that announced their respective price hikes as of press time are Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines.
“In spite of the peso depreciation and mainly due to the oversupply in the region, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will decrease the prices of diesel by P0.90 per liter and gasoline by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of Jan. 26, 2016 to reflect the continued downward price movements of petroleum products in the world market,” the company said.
The Energy Department, meanwhile, is closely monitoring the compliance of oil companies on the Euro 4 fuel standard after its implementation early this month.
Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos said “preparations are underway” to monitor the oil firm’s compliance with a requirement for them to use cleaner fuel to motorists even as he admitted that “not all” firms have been compliant.
“We are already fast tracking this,” Marcos said, while Energy officials said they are still in the process of making available the machines needed in their monitoring.
The department earlier imposed that oil companies comply with the Jan. 1, 2016 deadline to upgrade to cleaner emission standards of fuel from Euro 2 to Euro 4.
Euro 4 is a globally accepted European emission standard for vehicles that requires the use of fuel with significantly low sulfur (0.005 percent or 50 parts per million) and benzene (maximum of 1 percent by volume) contents.
Under Euro 2 standards fuels have up to 0.05 percent sulfur or 500 parts per million and up to five percent benzene.
As for aromatics, Euro 4 fuel contains only 35 percent by volume compared to Euro 2, which prescribes no limit.