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HomeEXPLAINER: What went before and why are fuel prices increasing?

EXPLAINER: What went before and why are fuel prices increasing?

Pump prices of major petroleum products – gasoline, diesel and kerosene – have increased by at least 11 times since the start of 2022.

The Energy Department (DOE) said in its Oil Monitor Report that as of 15 March 2022, the increases since start of 2022 have resulted to an additional P20.35 per liter for gasoline, P30.65 per liter for diesel and P24.90 per liter for kerosene.

Diesel and gasoline are among the most consumed petroleum products (53 percent and 37 percent, respectively) out of the 12.2 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) used by the transport sector based on the 2018 Energy Situationer of the DOE.

The DOE had earlier said on its website that the climb in oil prices was influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine that led to the United Kingdom to refuse docking to Russian ships.

BACK TO 2021: VAXXING AND OIL

The United States Energy Information Administration (US-EIA) trace the increase in crude oil price hikes as far back last year.

It said oil prices increased that year in the United States due to increasing COVID vaccination rates and the loosening of COVID-related restrictions.

These and a growing economy have led to a”global petroleum demand rising faster than petroleum supply.”

“America’s oil demand has soared to new heights in a remarkable turnaround from just a year ago when the pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a tailspin and decimated demand,” business reporting specialist Bloomberg said in a report July last year.

It added:” A rolling average of U.S. total oil products supplied – an indicator of consumption – jumped to the highest seasonal level in government data going back three decades in the week ending July 2. While gasoline and diesel demand have returned to pre-pandemic levels, a surge in petroleum use for products such as plastic, asphalt, lubricants and other industrial needs is propelling the recovery.”

“Worldwide energy prices were rising for the last year before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, causing the price of crude oil to skyrocket. A barrel of crude oil, the primary raw material for gasoline and diesel fuel, traded above $130 on Sunday and closed Monday at about $119. That compares to $92.31 a barrel a month ago or $72.36 a barrel three months ago,” Andrew Mykuth writes in American paper The Inquirer.

The US-EIA added global production of petroleum has “increased more slowly than demand, driving higher prices,” a trend caused by production cuts of main oil-producing states under the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other nations, like Russia, that coordinate production with OPEC (referred to as OPEC+).

OPEC+ announced in December 2020 that they would continue to limit production increases throughout 2021 to support higher crude oil prices.

Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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