Oil prices unlikely to rise in short term

Oil prices unlikely to rise in short term

(Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
(Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Local oil prices will not rise in the short term despite tight global supply after authorities cut contributions to the oil fund.

The Energy Policy Administration Committee, who met on Tuesday, cut contributions to the fund — by 1 baht per litre for petrol and 0.60 baht a litre for diesel, effective on Wednesday.

The move aims to keep local oil prices at current levels and to mitigate the impacts of rising world oil prices on the cost of living.

Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the meeting also acknowledged the diversification of oil import markets to the United Arab Emirates and Oman to prevent shortages.

Supply from new markets will replace some of the 170,000 barrels a day Thailand imported from Saudi Arabia.

Local oil stockpile stood at 6.4 million litres on Monday, the equivalent of 54-day use.

LPG supply for households, industrial use and transport will last 12 days, with the priority on households in the event of shortages.

As of Sunday, the oil fund had 39.4 billion baht. After the contribution cuts, it will run a liquidity deficit of 813 million baht a month.

The oil fund, set up in 2004, is the government’s tool to stabilise local oil prices and prevent shortages at times of volatilities, as well as to promote certain fuel types.

Oil vendors contribute to or are compensated by the fund at rates determined by the Energy Policy Administration Committee, depending on policies at a time.

The new rates effective on Wednesday are: premium petrol (7.08 baht per litre), gasohol 95 and 91 (1.12 baht), E20 (-1.78 baht) and E85 (-7.38 baht).

For diesel, the new rates are: B7 (-0.10 baht), B10 (-0.95 baht) and B20 (-4.80 baht).

Oil prices rose in the wake of attacks on a petroleum processing facility in Saudi Arabia to reach six-month highs on Monday, with gains of as much as 20%. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, gained almost $12 a barrel reaching up to $71.95 a barrel, before dropping back to $68 a barrel.    

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