• Big-time oil rollback set

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    Oil companies are set to implement a hefty rollback of pump prices on Tuesday because of a continuous downtrend in prices in the world oil market.

    In separate advisories, Pilipinas Shell, Seaoil, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines on Monday announced that they will cut diesel prices by P1.50 per liter while Shell and Seaoil are to lower kerosene prices by P1.60 per liter and gasoline prices by 55 centavos per liter.

    Eastern Petroleum will implement the price cut at 6 p.m., Monday.

    Pilipinas Shell and Seaoil’s price adjustment will take effect 12:01 a.m., Tuesday while PTT Philippines and Phoenix will calibrate prices at 6 a.m., also Tuesday.

    According to Fernando Martinez, Eastern Petroleum chairman and chief executive officer, the price movement was predicted as early as last week amid the continuous plunge of prices in the world oil market because of various geopolitical factors.

    “If this downtrend in international and local fuel prices continues, this will augur well for the Philippine economy and in meeting the government’s inflation target of below two percent for the year,” Martinez said.

    “Geopolitical factors, coupled with an oversupply of petroleum products, are affecting world oil prices thus, pushing local prices to go down as well,” he added.

    Last week, oil companies reduced diesel prices by 65 centavos per liter.

    They also lowered gasoline prices by 70 centavos per liter and 65 centavos per liter for kerosene.

    Acting Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada also last week hinted at possible rollback.

    “We expect good news next week. We expect a round of rollbacks and somewhat larger than previous ones,” Monsada was quoted as telling reporters.

    She said supply uncertainty sparked by political tension in the Ukraine somewhat dissipated with the holding of recent elections there. “Many are hopeful that the situation there will improve,” Monsada added.

    Other issues that affected the oil prices are the unrest in Libya and the strengthening of the US dollar.

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