Petrol prices may rise today

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 15, 2013 04:39 hrs

State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) are likely to announce an increase in petrol prices tomorrow, though a decision on an increase in diesel price could be delayed for a few days, a top oil company official said.

"We will have a look at petrol price revision tomorrow but diesel price review may have to wait a bit," a top oil company official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Officials of the three OMCs - Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL, will be meeting tomorrow to take a call a revision.

"We (oil companies) have to take a call together. We do talk to each other at times. We will also consult tomorrow. We consult almost on a daily basis. We cannot guess what decision will be taken," Indian Oil chairman R S Butola told reporters, on the sideline of an annual Oil Industry Safety Directorate conference here.

"Price hike will be taken care of by oil companies and not from the ministry side," Lakshmi Panabaka, MoS for Petroleum and Natural Gas, who also attended the event, said.

15 per cent drop in bulk diesel sales

Indian Oil chairman R S Butola on Thursday said there had been a 14-15 per cent drop in bulk diesel sales following the decision to free bulk diesel prices since Januray 17.

"There is a drop in bulk sales. It may be 14-15 per cent. And, there is some increase in retail sales, which is not as high as this. But it is based on a couple of days' sales only. So, we cannot say whether it is a trend," Butola said. "There can be other reasons, as these are very initial days. There could be, let's say, due to some festival, people consumed more, or maybe the industry itself is growing. We do not know what is the reason. We cannot comment on the financial impact of this at this moment," he added.

According to industry officials, the drop in bulk sales is led mainly by a shift of state transport utilities to the retail platform.Responding to a query on the same, Butola said, "It may not be possible under the existing norms to stop them."

Of the total annual diesel consumption of 70 million tonnes (mt), bulk sales for the industry are about 11 mt. About 4 million tonnes of this are consumed by state transport utilities and fleet operators.

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