Fuel prices declined in major cities across the country for the second time in three days on Thursday even as crude oil rates rose for a third day, pushed up by lower imports into the United States amid Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) efforts to tighten the market and the crisis in Venezuela.
Public sector oil marketing firms slashed petrol and diesel prices up to 10 paise and 9 paise respectively amid rising crude prices and falling rupee.
After Thursday's price revision, petrol in Delhi was sold at Rs 71.09 a litre, Mumbai Rs 76.72, Chennai Rs Chennai Rs 73.80 and Kolkata Rs 73.18 per litre, according to data available on Indian Oil Corporation website. Similarly, diesel in Delhi was retailed at Rs 65.81 a litre, Mumbai Rs 68.91, Chennai Rs 69.52 and Koklata Rs 67.59 per litre.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices rose for a third day on Thursday, pushed up by lower imports into the United States amid OPEC efforts to tighten the market, and as Venezuela struggles to keep up its crude exports after Washington imposed sanctions on the nation.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.63 per barrel, up 40 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were up 59 cents, or 1 percent, at $62.24 per barrel.
The price rise came after a report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday showed a drop in Saudi crude supply to the United States.
“Crude oil prices were stronger after signs emerged that OPEC cuts are impacting trade. EIA’s weekly report showed that US imports from Saudi Arabia fell by more than half from the previous week to 442,000 barrels per day (bpd). This is the second lowest level in weekly data going back to 2010,” ANZ bank said.
Saudi Arabia is the de-facto leader of the OPEC, which together with some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, announced supply cuts late last year aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices.
US sanctions imposed on Venezuela’s state-oil firm PDVSA this week are also causing some supply disruptions.
Venezuela’s oil inventories have started to build up at the country’s ports and terminals as PDVSA is finding it cannot export crude at its usual rate due to US sanctions imposed earlier this week. As of Wednesday, Venezuela had 25 tankers with nearly 18 million barrels of crude - representing about two weeks of the country’s production - either waiting to load or expecting authorization to set sail, shipping data showed.
Despite these disruptions, oil remains in ample supply, not least because of soaring US crude oil production, which jumped by more than 2 million bpd last year to a record 11.9 million bpd.
This shows in high US commercial crude oil stockpiles, which rose by 919,000 barrels in the week to 25 January, to 445.94 million barrels, EIA data showed. Stockpiles are 6.6 percent higher than a year ago.
— With Reuters inputs
To keep watching India’s No. 1 English Business News Channel – CNBC-TV18, call your Cable or DTH Operator and ask for the Colors Family Pack (inclusive of 24 channels), available for Rs. 35/- per month, or subscribe to the channel for Rs. 4/- per day.
To keep watching the Leader in Global Market & Business News – CNBC-TV18 Prime HD, call your Cable or DTH Operator and ask for the Colors Family HD Pack (inclusive of 25 channels), available for Rs. 50/- per month, or subscribe to the channel for Rs. 1/- per day.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jan 31, 2019 16:01:20 IST