Oil marketing companies seem to have lost the opportunity to provide another bonanza to consumers this festive season by bringing down the pump price of auto fuels — petrol and diesel.
With global oil price witnessing a sharp increase for the last few days in the wake of the rising demand and falling inventories, OMCs may actually increase the price of the two auto fuels in coming days rather effecting a cut that had become possible till late last week.
The OMCs did not revise petrol and diesel prices on Friday maintaining the over a month long trend when pump prices of the two auto fuels have remained unchanged.
With this, petrol price has now remained at the same level for 52 days now while diesel price has been at the same level for 42 days.
The price of petrol in the national capital continues to remain at Rs 81.06 per litre. In Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the fuel was sold for Rs 87.74, Rs 84.14 and Rs 82.59 per litre, respectively.
Diesel price in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata was at Rs 70.46, Rs 76.86, Rs 75.95 and Rs 73.99, respectively.
During this period (last 52 days) Brent crude prices had fallen by $2-3 per barrel or had remained closer to $40 a barrel that would normally have resulted in price cuts for petrol and diesel.
Crude price has again gained momentum this week closing over $ 44 a barrel on Thursday and still at a high level of $ 43 a barrel. If this trend is maintained, the retail price of petroleum products may actually face an increase.
“Globally petroleum product prices get revised by the hour. We have started the daily price revision mechanism. It is surprising in an open and free pricing mechanism, companies can hold back any revision for such a long duration unless the administrative price mechanism is at play again,” said an executive of PSU oil company asking not to be named.
The Indian oil companies have been following daily price revision mechanism under which the price of petrol and diesel is revised based on the 15-day average of the product prices every morning. But no revision of prices for such a long period has given rise to the speculation whether prices of petrol and diesel are still being administered and kept at artificial levels.